Our Board

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Robyn Brentano

Robyn Brentano has worked in nonprofit international development, human services, refugee resettlement, philanthropic, and cultural arts organizations for over 45 years. Most recently, she was the VP for Resource Development for The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT and, prior to that, the Executive Director of the Garrison Institute, which supports the application of contemplative methods to foster resilience in education, climate change, and trauma. As the ED of the Tibet Fund, she oversaw the US State Department’s annual humanitarian aid grant for education, health, economic and community development programs in Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal. At Healing the Divide, Richard Gere’s public charity, 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 peace organizations. As VP for Development at the NY Association for New Americans, she led fundraising for the agency’s education, employment, micro-enterprise, legal services, citizenship, domestic violence, and substance abuse programs.

Robyn 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, 112 Workshop, and the Dia Arts Foundation. She co-curated The Invisible Thread, an exhibition of 52 contemporary artists influenced by Buddhism. She holds an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.

Robyn first became a student of Tibetan Buddhism in 1975 when she participated in Kopan Monastery’s annual meditation course. Since then she has been blessed to study with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche and other teachers. She joined the Foundation for the Development of Compassion and Wisdom Board of Directors in 2005 and serves on the Advisory Board of the Altruism in Medicine Institute.

 
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Jason Briggs

Jason Briggs is currently Director of Development for Cavendish Cancer Care, a charity dedicated to supporting those living with cancer. Before joining Cavendish, Jason was a Consultant for Graham-Pelton, a global firm specializing in fundraising intelligence, feasibility and campaign planning. Prior to this, Jason headed up research, analytics, and due diligence at The University of Sheffield, where he led his team to win an Insight in Fundraising Award in 2016 for their innovative work on international fundraising analytics. At Sheffield, he also served on the Senate’s University’s Research Ethics Committee, responsible for ethical & reputational risk of the university. Previous to this, Jason managed a social enterprise called Learning for the Fourth Age, which provided education to care settings.

Jason is active in the fundraising intelligence sector and serves on the Institute of Fundraising Researchers in Fundraising Committee, where he is Conference Lead for Europe’s largest gathering of fundraising intelligence professionals. He is a frequent speaker at CASE Development Services, CASE Europe, RIF and QS Summit on the topics of prospect development and analytics. For his efforts in the fundraising sector, particularly championing data-led strategy and innovation in analytics, Jason won the prestigious CASE Europe Iain More Award in 2017 for ‘emerging development professional’.

In his spare time, Jason serves as a Trustee for Land of Joy, where the team raised £1.2m to found a now thriving retreat centre. He has also studied Tibetan Debate since 2010 under the guidance of Geshe Graham Woodhouse. Jason is a graduate of The University of Sheffield with a 1st Class degree in History & Philosophy. Amongst other qualifications, he holds a Diploma in Fundraising Management with the Institute of Fundraising.

 
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Oi Loon Lee

Oi Loon Lee graduated from University of Edinburgh with an honours degree in Chemistry which was followed with a teaching diploma from the University of Malaya. She has taught in secondary schools in Malaysia for 14 years. She left the civil service to became a facilitator in Buzan mind mapping and accelerated learning programs. Later her interest took her towards working with children with learning challenges. She trained in the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School in the Extra Lesson Therapy. She also had her own therapy practice after being trained by the Institute of Neuro-Physiological Pyschology (INPP Ltd.) in U.K.

She supports the development of advocacy and services for people with learning challenges in Malaysia. She is on the board of Tan Sri Lee Loy Seng Foundation, a public charity body that promotes the development of educational institutes and provide educational scholarships.

Oi Loon lives in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia with her husband and younger son.

 
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Shyla Mills

Shyla Mills is the CEO of Palliative Care Queensland, a peak body which supports end of life services, patients and their communities throughout the state of Queensland in Australia. She is a palliative care nurse with over 16 years’ experience. Shyla’s clinical speciality was paediatric palliative care and has also worked as the Director of Nursing in aged care. She has also worked as National Program Manager for a commonwealth funded palliative care quality improvement program.

Shyla holds a Master of Palliative Care and a Master of Public Health and has a particular interest in public health palliative care, compassionate communities, continuous quality improvement, death literacy, arts in healthcare, and compassion literacy.

Shyla is a second generation western Buddhist. She has volunteered for FPMT since she 1996. Originally in a variety of roles at Buddha House (Adelaide), then as a Nurse at Sera Jhe and Kopan Monastery. Shyla then volunteered as the Assistant Director of FPMT Mongolia, which included working on the Enlightenment Experience Celebration 4 (EEC4). In 2006, Lama Zopa Rinpoche requested Shyla to establish and Direct Loving Kindness Peaceful Youth (LKPY) which she did until 2010 when she handed over the reins of LKPY and became a board member for the FDCW.

Shyla lives in Brisbane, Australia with her two beautiful little boys, Jasper and Felix (aged 7 and 5) and a husband, Jason.

 
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Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw

Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw was the co-director and faculty of the Inter-professional Applied Mindfulness Meditation Certificate Program at the University of Toronto, Continuing Education, and then the senior Advisor of Buddhist Content and Practice. She was a member of the teaching team for Hamilton Health Sciences’ Developing Resiliency through Applied Mindfulness program. She developed the Transformative Mindfulness Methods protocol for inquiry and intervention and for 20 years has been training practitioners internationally. She was invited by the University of Florence, Neurology, Psychiatry and Pharmacology Departments to train professionals in their Masters Program in Mindfulness and Meditation: Neurological and Clinical Application for Healthcare Professionals. She is a contributing author of Medical Marriage: The Marriage of Orthodox and Complimentary Therapies.

A former national level athlete, entrepreneur, educator then Tibetan Buddhist nun for seven years at Chenrezig Institute in Australia, she is a registered Buddhist teacher with the FPMT. She is a former director of The Centre for Compassion & Wisdom in Burlington, Canada which offers programs in secular ethics, meditation and universal education programs that help anyone to become kinder and wiser. She is author and international trainer in 16 Guidelines for Life – a secular ethics program now in 23 countries and 6 languages. This is a resource and program of the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom in UK. Dekyi-Lee serves on the board of Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom whose patron is The Dalai Lama.

 
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Wendy Ridley

After graduating from Leicester University Wendy worked as an Archivist and then as a travel agent in London. Meeting Lama Yeshe in 1977 she was inspired by his vision of Universal Education. She did post-graduate teacher training and has over 35 years of experience working in the UK education sector.

She worked as a primary school teacher, teacher trainer, university lecturer, education authority advisor, CPD provider and education consultant. This provided her with skills and passion to develop, deliver and oversee training programmes. She co-authored 'Another Spanner in the Works' a practical guide to diversity education in primary classrooms and was on the Board of Cumbria Development Education Centre for many years. Since 1988 she has been on Cumbria Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education and was the chair for many years. She trained in and particularly values Philosophy for Children as an enquiry based methodology.

Wendy has worked in five very different Buddhist centres in India, Holland & UK and was the director of Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds for over 7 years. She is a qualified yoga teacher and enjoys facilitating 16G workshops and editing UE materials. Since 2004 she has been involved in the development of FDCW as a Board member.