A world-renowned authority on the inner science of Buddhism, Robert A. F. Thurman, Ph.D., is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. He co-founded and is the president of Tibet House New York, a non-profit dedicated to preserving and promoting Tibetan culture, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. The New York Times recently hailed him as “the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.” He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, including Circling the Sacred Mountain, Essential Tibetan Buddhism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well, Inner Revolution, The Jewel Tree of Tibet and, most recently, Why the Dalai Lama Matters.

The first Western Tibetan monk, he shares a thirty-five year friendship with the Dalai Lama. He is the father of five children, including actress Uma Thurman.