The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is the founding director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Born into a Hindu Brahmin family in Vaishali, India, he chose his own path at the age of 10, entering a Buddhist monastery in Rajgir. His unique upbringing combined a modern secular education with traditional Buddhist training and ordination by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude as an integral honors scholar, and completed his graduate studies in comparative philosophy of religion at Harvard University in 2003. Living in the United States as a visiting scholar at Harvard and MIT, he was struck by the absence of ethics in our education. When the global financial crisis of 2008 brought new focus to that absence, he began programs to spark a conversation about ethics among MIT students. From that start, The Center was born. Since then, it has grown quickly into a collaborative think tank with global reach, engaging MIT faculty and leaders in science, engineering, business, and governance. He is the founding president of the Prajnopaya Foundation, a worldwide humanitarian organization developing innovative health, education, and social welfare programs. He serves on the board of several academic, humanitarian, and religious organizations, and teaches Buddhist philosophy and practice through the Prajnopaya Institute.
This profile was last updated on October 1, 2014