Samdhong Rinpoche


Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala (2001-2011) and part of the preservation movement. His vows as a monk were taken at age seven, and he spent his childhood studying at Drepung Monastery in Lhasa. With the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950, he was forced into exile in India where he has since remained.
From the 1960’s until the 1990’s, he was an educator, first as a teacher, then as a principal, In 2000, after the Dalai Lama determined that the Tibetan people should elect their own Prime Minister in Exile, Tenzin took 85% of the vote, and earned the title of “Kalon Tripa”. Since then, he has attained a status second only to the Dalai Lama among Tibetans.