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Dalai Lama Fellows

Dalai Lama Fellows, a global program personally authorized by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, envisions and works towards a world that tends to the good of the whole as well as of the individual. We do this by building a global network of young social innovators working at the intersections of peace, justice and ecology. We then guide them to deepen their effectiveness by merging social innovation with contemplative values, ethics, and compassion.

We embrace and advance three core values as we conduct our work:

  • Interdependence – We are connected and mutually dependent. We work in the interest of present and future generations.
  • Integrity – We strive to be wholly honest and to have consistent alignment between our values and actions.
  • Resilience – We meet challenges with optimism, ingenuity, and flexibility. We bounce back from adversity with grace.

Dalai Lama Fellows awards highly competitive, yearlong Fellowships with a project grant of up to $10,000 to students at select universities and colleges worldwide. Fellows design and launch ambitious, mentored compassion-in-action projects in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Enhancing understanding and cooperation across peoples and cultures;
  2. Diminishing violence and promoting peace;
  3. Helping to alleviate poverty through creative initiatives; and
  4. Protecting the environment.

Over the course of the year, Fellows are immersed in a reflective leadership curriculum, where they explore universal human values including contemplation, compassion, emotional resilience, discernment, and courage.

Engaging in hands-on projects at sites ranging from Appalachia to Jerusalem, and The Philippines to Kenya, Fellows are connected to a network of outstanding experts in their fields and guided in sustainable social change.

Dalai Lama Fellows learn that cultivation of patience, tolerance for ambiguity, listening to find alignment, resilience in the face of things not going as expected, and allowing solutions to generate from a place of openness and humility are what make for exemplary leadership.


“Without Community Initiatives, California would not see the impact of hundreds of beneficial projects. They are an important part of our nonprofit landscape.”
Pamela H. David Executive Director, Walter and Elise Haas Fund