ROBYN BRENTANO
ROBYN BRENTANO
Robyn Brentano has devoted her career as a nonprofit leader to promoting compassionate and sustainable solutions to issues in the fields of international development, refugee resettlement, education, human services, and cultural revitalization. Currently, she is the Vice President for Resource Development at The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. Prior to joining The Center, she served as the Executive Director of the Garrison Institute, which supports the application of contemplative methods to foster individual, community, and systemic resilience in education, climate change, and trauma. As the Executive Director of the Tibet Fund, she worked intensively with the US State Department and the Tibetan government-in-exile to implement education, health, economic and community development programs across the 52 Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal. At Healing the Divide, a public charity founded by Richard Gere, she oversaw an arts revitalization program in Tibet, a health care project for destitute Tibetan monks and nuns in India, and an initiative to support Israeli and Palestinian grassroots peace organizations. As VP for Development at the New York Association for New Americans, the nation’s largest refugee resettlement organization in the 1990s, she led fundraising for the agency’s education, employment, microenterprise, legal services, citizenship, domestic violence, and substance abuse programs. She has also directed documentary films and curated numerous visual and performing arts programs for the Meridian Trust London, Tibet House NY, the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and the Dia Arts Foundation, among other organizations. She served on the steering committee for The Buddhism Project, a five-year initiative involving 20 museums, cultural and Buddhist centers in New York City; and she co-curated The Invisible Thread, an exhibition at Snug Harbor Cultural Center of 52 contemporary artists engaged with or influenced by Buddhism.
RICHARD J. DAVIDSON, PhD
RICHARD J. DAVIDSON, PhD
William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, and Founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984. He has published more than 360 articles, numerous chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of “The Emotional Life of Your Brain” published by Penguin in 2012.

He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research including the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society. He was the year 2000 recipient of the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association – the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. He was the Founding Co-Editor of the new American Psychological Association journal EMOTION. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2006. In 2011, he was given the Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences from 2011-2017 and member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Mental Health for 2014-2016.

His research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices.

PICO IYER
PICO IYER
Pico Iyer is the author of twelve books, on subjects as diverse as the Cuban Revolution, globalism, Islamic mysticism and His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. In both 2013 and 2014 he delivered talks for TED–one on movement, one on stillness–and each has received more than two million views so far. Educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard, he has been an essayist for Time since 1986, and for The New York Times for almost as long, and his pieces regularly appear also in The New York Review of Books, Harper’s and the Financial Times.
PROFESSOR JON KABAT-ZINN
PROFESSOR JON KABAT-ZINN
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. is a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher. He is Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (1995), and founder (in 1979) and former director of its world-renown Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic. He is the author of Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness (Dell, 1990, 2005, 2013), Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (Hyperion, 1994, 2005), and many others. His books are published in over 40 languages. Dr. Kabat-Zinn received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from MIT in 1971. Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s work has contributed to a growing movement of mindfulness into mainstream institutions such as medicine, psychology, health care, neuroscience, schools, business, prisons, and professional sports. Hospitals and medical centers around the world now offer clinical programs based on training in mindfulness and MBSR. Dr. Kabat-Zinn has received numerous awards over the span of his career, and is a former board member of the Mind and Life Institute.
PROFESSOR VERGHESE M.D., MACP
PROFESSOR VERGHESE M.D., MACP
Abraham Verghese is Professor of Medicine at Stanford University and a fierce advocate for bedside medicine and physical diagnosis in an era of increasingly sophisticated medical technology, where computer-based medical information often supersedes the patient’s story. He was instrumental in establishing the Stanford 25, which emphasizes bedside medicine and identifies 25 physical diagnosis skills student must master prior to the end of their fourth year of training. Dr. Verghese coined the term ‘iPatient’ for the electronic records that often receive more attention than the patient in the bed. Dr. Verghese is a compelling voice for healthcare professionals and non-medical audiences alike. His first novel, Cutting for Stone, was on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. His first book, a memoir, My Own Country, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; his second, also a memoir, The Tennis Partner, was a national bestseller. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and in the medical literature. He is working on his second novel, The Maramon Convention. Dr. Verghese studied medicine at the University of Madras and completed his Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine. He is a Master of the American College of Physicians and was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2011. In 2014, he was awarded the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities.