Tenzin Bhuthi (CA) is an IT engineer, born and raised in Kalimpong, India. She completed her engineering degree in Kolkata, worked for a few years in Mumbai before coming to the United States to work at Intel as a Systems Analyst. Tenzin is passionate about technology, calling herself a tech-sadist because she loves finding bugs in people’s code. She is equally passionate about women in technology, human rights and education and is a proud member of ACHA. When she is not finding bugs, talking about serious “stuff”, she relishes watching cooking channels and trying to replicate some of the dishes in the kitchen: “The verdict on how successful I am in doing so is still up in the air but, nevertheless, I try.”
Sherab Dolma (CA) was born in India. She graduated from Karnataka University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, through scholarship from Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). She served the Central Tibetan Administration for 15 years, starting as a line-staff to become a manager and supervised the Nepal Audit Branch Office. In 2002, she received her tax consultant certificate from the Indian income tax department and has handled tax cases of 17 non-profit organizations under CTA. She also volunteered for the Tibetan Fulbright Alumni Association and served as an active executive member. Sherab first came to USA in 2005 on a Fulbright Scholarship by the US State Department and studied at University of San Francisco (USF) and went back to India in 2007 to serve her community. In 2011, she immigrated to USA as an undocumented person facing many challenges and with no family support. Sherab is currently working as the financial and human resource manager at Street Level Health Project (SLHP), an Oakland-based grassroots organization dedicated to the health and wellbeing of underserved urban immigrant communities in the Bay Area, a place where she feels connected. She works with a dedicated team, providing services to make the life of most marginalized and underserved individuals, namely people who are homeless, uninsured or recent immigrants, happy and healthy thereby reliving her challenges. Sherab loves to read and dance. She lives in Bay Area, CA with her husband and daughter. Sherab is the volunteer accountant for ACHA in the Bay Area.
Tenzin W. Labrang (CA – Co-Founder). She works as a banker at the West Marin Bank in Marin County and serves as the Treasurer for ACHA. She was educated in Central School for Tibetan (CST) in Dalhousie, India and came to America ____ years ago. She served on the board of Tibetan Association of Northern California with Dechen Tsering, with who she co-founded ACHA-Tibetan Sisterhood (later changed to ACHA-Himalayan Sisterhood). While waiting for her husband in India to join the family, Tenzin balances being a temporary “single mother” for her 11-month daughter with a full-time job.
Tsering Lhadon (D.C.) [unavailable upon request]
Kim Phuni Meston (MA) is a Tibetan woman, an American citizen, an activist and organizer, a professional, a dancer, a runner, a world traveler, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a caretaker, a compassionate friend, and a person who speaks her mind. She is also a survivor of human trafficking. When she was sixteen she was trafficked to the US from a Tibetan refugee camp in India. By her late twenties, Phuni experienced a transformative shift that let her see the world in new ways. It began in 1995 when she attended the World Conference on Women in Beijing as part of the Tibetan delegation. She says of that transformative experience: “I found strength and solidarity with women from around the world who shared their struggles and vision in a way that made many of our cultural and ethnic differences secondary to our commonalities. I started to see the connections between my own experiences and that of many others. I discovered I had buried so many feelings and beliefs and as they emerged I was able to express myself with a sense of authority I never knew I had. I was able to move through the anger I was holding and use that energy for positive change both in myself and in the world. It has fueled my activism for Tibetan human rights and I now draw directly on my experience in Beijing in my work on human trafficking.” Phuni brings survivors into dialogue with each other so they may find solace in knowing they are not alone and derive strength and support from each other. Phuni co-directs the Massachusetts-based Trafficking Victims Outreach & Services (TVOS) Network, a collaboration of over 35 individuals representing public sector, private sector and nongovernmental organizations to address human trafficking, sexual exploitation, labor exploitation, and gender based violence. Phuni is a successful social entrepreneur and owner of Karma Fine Crafts – a socially conscious artisan boutique that features high-end merchandise with a focus on fair trade and cultural enterprise. Karma is the creation of Phuni and her late husband, Daja Wangchuk Meston, author of “Comes the Peace”. Phuni has fifteen years of retail and high-end fashion experience under her belt. She is the mother of two sweet girls and lives in Newton, MA.
Namgyal Choedon-Newton (CA) was born and raised in the diaspora Tibetan community in Nepal. She is a busy working-soccer mom. She has been an IT professional for over ten years and now she dreams of re-launching herself into a career in fashion industry. Namgyal has been a committed member of the ACHA core group while also serving as a member of the Tibetan Association of Northern California’s building committee. She views ACHA as a meaningful platform to bring about changes within her community, to be empowered, to empower and engage others and to have fun while working towards a better community and ultimately a happier world to live in.
Damo Thar (CA) was born in Amdo between Rigong Tibetan Autonomous Region and Labrang Monastery. Damo has a double Bachelor’s Degree from China in Education and later in Legal Studies from UC Berkeley. While in Tibet, Damo taught in the 10th Panchen Lama’s middle school students and tutored Tibetan students in Mandarin and English, and taught English to Chinese students before she came to the US, where she worked for the Doctors Without Border for one year. She worked for Refugee Transitions as a tutor/mentor for refugee children and currently works at the Bay Area Legal Aid Oakland as a legal assistant assisting low-income individuals with housing, domestic violence prevention, public benefits, health access and youth justice. Damo speaks, reads and writes Mandarin and Amdo Tibetan. She is passionate about women and girls’ education in the developing world, and refugee issues. Damo has been supporting a girl from the Kokonor region since 2010. In 2012, she started a project called “Food for Being” in South Bay that feeds homeless people regularly in SF and San Jose with over 60 volunteers. She has also raised $3000 for a recycle project and environmental education for a school in Rebgong region of Amdo. Damo enjoys music, dancing, outdoor activities, long distance running, and learning new things. Damo joined ACHA, because ACHA’s mission “fits my passion and values, which is to support women and girls education and health in the Himalaya region.”
Tenzin Tselha (MA) was born and raised in India and went to the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) school in Dharamsala. Tselha got her Bachelors in English from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation, she moved to New York City to work as a Grassroots Associate contractor for Students for a Free Tibet. Tselha currently lives in Somerville, MA, where she is on the lookout for an exciting job opportunity and preparing for graduate school. She loves poetry, small furry dogs and all things sweet.
Dechen Tsering (CA – Co-Founder) was raised in Nepal, India and the United States. She came to the United States at age 18 to complete High School. Dechen has a B.A. from Antioch College in Ohio in Environmental Studies and pursued architecture before she made a dramatic switch to public health following a summer internship in Dharamsala, India. She received her Masters in Public Health (MPH) degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. She is the director of Sisterhood for Wellness project at Community Health for Asian Americans (CHAA), a nonprofit in Oakland, CA that promotes behavioral health and wellness among underserved communities. Dechen is a trained domestic violence counselor and works with survivors in the Bay Area Himalayan community. She served as full-time volunteer president of the Tibetan Association of Northern California (TANC) from 2008-2010 after leaving her position at the Global Fund for Women, where she managed grantmaking to women’s groups in Asia and Oceania. Dechen sought out women’s groups in Tibet to fund such as Shem and DoKham and traveled to Xiling, Amdo. She also traveled to Dartsedo and Litang for the Seva Foundation, where she managed blindness prevention programs in India, Nepal, Tibet and Cambodia. Before moving to CA, Dechen was at the Trace Foundation in NY, coordinating scholarships for graduate and PhD. students from Tibet. While at Trace, Dechen took four months leave in 1998 and traveled in and around Lhasa as a research assistant on women’s reproductive health in the Tibetan medical system – her first trip to Tibet! Following graduate school, Dechen worked at the Tibetan Delek Hospital in Dharamsala, India initiating the first HIV/AIDS prevention and sex education programs for Tibetan high school students, youth, and residents of Tibetan settlements. Dechen is passionate about social justice, gender issues and women’s leadership and co-founded ACHA-Himalayan Sisterhood. She enjoys drawing/painting, swimming, gardening, hiking, connecting people to resources, family, and making her son laugh. Dechen lives in the Bay Area with her partner and their son. Dechen serves as the executive director at ACHA.
In addition to the core members, ACHA recruits general members to join the organization. General members work within their state/city group to organize workshops, events and activities collectively. They have decision-making role on matters directly related to their state-wide workshops, events and activities. Every member is encouraged to help recruit new members to their chapter members.
- Tenzin Chokki
- Dr. Kartso Kyi
- Jampa Ghapontsang
- Yeshi Khando
- Tenzin Tselha
- Thamzhin Tsikar
- Rinchen Youtso
New York City, NY
- Dawa Dolma
- Jaida Kyi Gikofsky
- Yangchen D. Gurung
- Dorjee Lhamo
- Mingmar Sherpa
- Tenzin Tsomo
- Tamding Wangmo
- Trinley Wangmo
Tashi Chodron (New York, NY) – bio pending
Dr. Losang Rabgey (Washington D.C.) is the co-founder (with her sister Dr. Tashi Rabgey) of Machik, whose mission is to seed social innovation in Tibet. Dr. L. Rabgey holds a PhD in gender and anthropology from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies where she was the first Tibetan to become a Commonwealth Scholar. In 2006, the National Geographic Society recognized Dr. L. Rabgey as one of eight Emerging Explorers from around the world for her innovative work in bridging cultural divides. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Legacy Fund. In addition to her creative development of Machik work, Dr. L. Rabgey is a board member of Mechak, the first online gallery of contemporary Tibetan art. Her current research interests include social entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment and conservation in Tibet. Born in India and raised in Canada, Dr. L. Rabgey first returned to Tibet with her family in 1987.
Dr. Tashi Rabgey (Washington D.C.) is the co-founder (with her sister Dr. Losang Rabgey) and strategic advisor of Machik. Dr. T. Rabgey spent much of the past fifteen years working with Tibetan communities inside Tibet, promoting education, entrepreneurship and Tibetan empowerment. From 2008-2011, Dr. T. Rabgey was co-director of the University of Virginia Tibet Center where she was also lecturer in contemporary Tibetan studies, and taught comparative politics and global development studies. She is currently a Research Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Dr. T. Rabgey holds a PhD. from Harvard University as well as law degrees from Oxford and Cambridge Universities where she was the first Tibetan to be selected as a Rhodes scholar. She is currently a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow with the National Committee on US-China Relations.
Dhardon Sharling (Amherst, MA) is a second generation Tibetan born in exile after her grandparents was forced to escape into exile, India. Dhardon is today the youngest elected member of the Tibetan Parliament based in exile India. She served as the executive member of Tibetan Women’s Association – the most powerful women’s organization in Tibetan history that advocates human rights for Tibetan women in Tibet and works to empower Tibetan women in exile. At TWA, Dhardon spearheaded the research and communications work and published many research reports on the situation of Tibetan women in Tibet. Dhardon continues to advice and mentor TWA and is the creative head of the ‘Legal Empowerment of Tibetan Women in Exile’ project that continues on its positive growth trajectory since its implementation in 2013. Dhardon served on the steering committee of International Tibet Network and is currently the co-chair of the steering committee. She was also elected as the General Secretary of the freshly instituted ‘Tibetan-Chinese PEN Centre,’ since April 2014. As an avid spokesperson for the Tibetan movement, she travels around the world for speaking engagements and has represented Tibet at prestigious conferences such as the Geneva Summit organized by UN Watch, UNCOP-15 Summit in Copenhagen, 1st International Congress on Women’s Health and Unsafe Abortion (ICWHUA) in Bangkok, and World Parliamentarian’s Convention on Tibet (WPCT) in Ottawa. Besides being featured in leading journals and newspapers, Dhardon has been published as a contributing author in the book ‘A Force Such as the World Has Never Known: Women Creating Change,’ published by INANNA Publications and Education Inc. in 2013. Dhardon has a master’s degree in communication studies from an Indian University and a second master’s degree in counseling studies from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She is currently pursuing her PhD. in Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Political Communication is her specialized area of communication scholarship.
Sangmo Thar (New York, NY) was born and grew up in Amdo Chapcha Tibet (Tsolu Prefecture). After High School, she joined a Tibetan Dance Troupe where she performed as a dancer for 6 years. Sang’s dance specialties were Tibetan dance, Korean dance, Turkish Dance, and Mongolian dance. Later she worked as a choreographer and a bookkeeper in a Tibetan middle school. She did this for two years after giving birth to her daughter. In the early 1990s, Sang escaped from Tibet to Northern India, Dharamsala. In 1996, Sang came to the United States as a translator and has remained in the United States ever since. Sang soon realized that without mastering the English language, she would have a very difficult time surviving in the United States. She worked as a waitress and simultaneously took ESL classes. After countless challenges over the years, she was finally able to pursue her college education. In 2007, Sang completed her Bachelor’s degree (B.A) in Psychology at Hunter College and completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work (2009) at Hunter College. From 2009 to 2015, Sang worked at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office: Victim Services Unit in Brooklyn, as a trained domestic violence (DV) counselor. She focused primarily on an Eastern Asian population, but also helped in the Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Homicide, and Crimes Against Children Victims Division offering language and cultural competency. Sang faced challenges when it came to providing services for Tibetan domestic violence survivors because there is no support system for this particular population. Generally, domestic violence is a hidden and silenced topic in many societies, including the Tibetan societies, both in Tibet and outside of Tibet. Sang joined ACHA-Himalayan Sisterhood in 2014 as a NYC-based member and transitioned to become an Advisor in 2016. Sang sees her role, first and foremost, as a Tibetan DV counselor, to raise awareness within the Tibetan communities about signs of DV, the VAWA (Violence Against Women’s Act) implications for DV survivors, and to assist Tibetan domestic violence survivors with finding relevant resources and support. Sang is fluent in Tibetan (Amdo and Central Lhasa dialects), understands Tibetan Kham dialect, and is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin) and English. Sang lives in New York City with her husband. Her daughter is an ACHA supporter and has raised funds for ACHA in the past.
Carol Keslar (CA)
Sonam Lama (CA)
Khunkyi Malampa (NY)
Beckie Masaki (CA)
Ellie McCutchson (CA)
Hillery Trippe (CA)
Tenzin Tsomo (CA)