The Mind & Life Institute is a non-profit institution dedicated to building a scientific understanding of the mind in order to reduce suffering and promote well-being. You can learn about the individuals stewarding the Institute by clicking on the tabs below.

Honorary Chairman

Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Executive Committee

Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, President

Raymond L. Gellein, Jr., MBAVice Chair and Treasurer

Carolyn Jacobs, PhD, Secretary

Thupten Jinpa, PhD, Chair

Board of Directors

Mark Bertolini, MBA

Lisette Cooper, CFA, PhD
Athena Capital Advisors

Martin N. Davidson, PhD
University of Virginia

Sona Dimidjian, PhD
University of Colorado–Boulder

Raymond L. Gellein, Jr., MBA
RGB Capital Advisors

Barry Hershey, MFA

Carolyn Jacobs, PhD
Smith College School for Social Work, Dean Emerita

Thupten Jinpa, PhD
Institute for Tibetan Classics

Jack Kornfield, PhD
Spirit Rock Center

Tania Singer, PhD
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Aaron Stern
Academy for the Love of Learning, Founder and President


Adam Engle, JD, MBA

Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Francisco J. Varela, PhD (1946-2001)

Board Members Emeriti

Tendzin Choegyal

Richard J. Davidson, PhD, Chief Scientific Advisor, Founding Steward

John D. Dunne, PhD

Adam Engle, JD, MBA

Daniel Goleman, PhD, Founding Steward

Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, Founding Steward

Anne Harrington, PhD

Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, Founding Steward

Donald H. Morrison, MBA

Matthieu Ricard, PhD, Founding Steward

Francisco J. Varela, PhD

Ulco Visser

Alan Wallace, PhD

Diana Chapman Walsh, PhD

Arthur Zajonc, PhD

Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, co-chair
Mind & Life Institute

Sarah Bowen, PhD
Pacific University

Elissa Epel, PhD
University of California–San Francisco

Wendy Hasenkamp, PhD
Mind & Life Institute

Clifford Saron, PhD
University of California–Davis

Evan Thompson, PhD, co-chair
University of British Columbia

Krista Weih
Mind & Life Institute

Carol Worthman, PhD
Emory University

Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta
University of Massachusetts–Amherst

Martin N. Davidson
University of Virginia

Chris Kaplan, MA
Amor Art Farm Oasis & Canticle Farm

Rhonda V. Magee, JD, MA
University of San Francisco School of Law

Juan F. Santoyo
Brown University

Helen Weng, PhD
University of California–San Francisco

Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD (ex officio)
Mind & Life Institute

Eboni Bugg, LCSW (ex officio)
Mind & Life Institute

Mind & Life Francisco J. Varela Research Grants

David Creswell, PhD
Carnegie Melon University

Gaëlle Desbordes, PhD
Harvard University

Norman Farb, PhD
University of Toronto

Jennifer Mascaro, PhD
Emory University

Christy Wilson-Mendenhall, PhD
Center for Healthy Minds
University of Wisconsin–Madison

PEACE Grants

Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, PhD
West Virginia University

Paul Condon, PhD
Southern Oregon University

Matthias Mehl, PhD
University of Arizona

Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD
Greater Good Science Center
University of California–Berkeley

Helen Weng, PhD
University of California–San Francisco