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.