The GNH Centre Team


HRH Princess Kezang Choden Wangchuck

Ambassador Lhatu Wangchuk                                                           Dr. Saamdu Chetri
Treasurer                                                                           Secretary





Dasho Thinley Namgyel, Secretary, GNH Commission










Dasho Karma Yeshey, Secretary, Ministry of Education










Mr. Yeshey Norbu, Norbu Bhutan Travel Pvt. Ltd










Mrs. Rinzing Wangmo, Druk Dakini Travels











Rinzin Wangmo, Leki Guest House, Bumthang












Dasho Meghraj Gurung 









Khenpo Sonam Bumdhen
Dratshang Lhentshog









Daniel AlmagorDaniel Almagor
Small Giants, Australia
Danny is the co-founder and CEO of Small Gaints, which he started with Berry Liberman, the creative director of Small Giants. Prior to Small Giants, Danny wa the founding CEO of Engineers without Borders Australia and the CEO of Medivax. He had done some other cool stuff including being part of the team that broke the record for racing a solar car across Australia from Darwin to Adelaide.


Margarita-AlvarezMargarita Alvarez
Marketing Director, Adecco, Spain

Margarita Alvarez is the director of Marketing and Communication at Adecco, Spain. She studied law and during her time at University, she had the opportunity to work in several companies each year – Insurance, Studio photography, Tax, Naval Engineering and Electronics. Afterwards, she did an MBA at Instituto de Empresa Business School and since, continued to work as a tutor and teacher. At the end of the master she began to work for Coca-Cola Company where she spent 15 years, the last, as Experimental Marketing Manager, as well as President of Coca-Cola Institute of Happiness.

Robert-CostanzaRobert Costanza
Chair in Public Policy – Australian National University, Australia

Robert Costanza is currently Chair in Public Policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University and is Editor-in-Chief of Solutions magazine. Prior to this, he was Distinguished University Professor of Sustainability, in the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. Before moving to PSU in Sept. 2010, he was the Gund Professor of Ecological Economics and founding director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. Before Vermont, he was on the faculty at Maryland and LSU, a visiting scientist at the Beijer Institute in Sweden, and at the Illinois Natural History Survey. Dr. Costanza is also currently a Senior Fellow at the National Council on Science and the Environment, Washington, DC, and a Senior Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm, Sweden, and an Affiliate Fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont.Dr. Costanza’s research has focused on the interface between ecological and economic systems, particularly at larger temporal and spatial scales.Dr. Costanza received BA and MA degrees in Architecture and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Sciences (Systems Ecology with Economics minor) all from the University of Florida.

Cylvia-HayesCylvia Hayes
American, First Lady Oregon

Cylvia has more than 20 years of professional experience in sustainable economic development, clean energy, workforce development, green building, and waste prevention. She served as a member and co-chair of the Oregon Renewable Energy Working Group, which developed the state Renewable Energy Standard, Renewable Fuels Standard, and other clean energy policies.Cylvia is the founder and CEO of 3EStrategies, a clean economy consulting firm; is a Fellow of the Washington, DC-based, Clean Economy Development Center, the Center for State Innovation, and the American Leadership Forum; and has expertise in collaborative leadership skills.In 2006, Cylvia was named a Top 40 under 40 by Cascade Business News and a Central Oregon “Earth Star” and, in 2005, she was honored as a Top 50 Leader in Oregon by Oregon Business magazine.Raised a farm kid, Cylvia was driving trucks and running chainsaws by the time she was 10 years old and has worked as a horse trainer, apple picker, fryer-chicken catcher, and heavy-equipment operator, among many other things. In her early 30s, she became the first person in her ancestry to earn a graduate degree, an MES in sustainable development.Cylvia is a fitness fan, committed to running, weight training, and racquetball. She is also an active outdoorswoman, and loves animals and international travel.

Dena-MerriamDena Merriam
American, Global Peace Initiative for Women

Dena Merriam is Vice Chairman and partner of public relations firm Ruder Finn Inc., and the founder and convener of the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW).As partner of Ruder Finn, her goal is to help define a new role for business in a rapidly changing global environment, and seek to build bridges between corporations and the public, pioneering the very concept of corporate responsibility.Additionally, many years ago, Dena began to work on projects for the United Nations, projects that engaged her in some of the most critical issues facing the world community—conflicts in various parts of the world, climate change, environment, gender balance, etc.  It was during that period that she felt called to contribute in a more direct way to addressing some of these issues.Therefore, ten years ago, Merriam founded GPIW through which she has been able to apply her communications skills more specifically to peace building around the world.Merriam holds a MA from Columbia University.

Lars-NordbergLars Nordberg
Swedish, Environmental, Scan Evrionment Advisory – ICCI

Lars Nordberg was Secretary of the executive Body for the Convention on Longrange Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and Deputy Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Environment and Human Settlements Division until his retirement from the UN in 2000. Since then he has acted as adviser to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the pacific (Bangkok) on matters related to air pollution and as chair of International programme Advisory group of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for its Regional Air Pollution in Developing Countries (Asia and Africa) programme. Recently he co‑authored an evaluation of the Atmospheric Brown Cloud Programme and a Synthesis Report on the Malé Declaration, and in 2013 joined the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) as Himalayas Coordinator.

Gunter-PauliGuntar Pauli
ZERI Founder, South Africa

Prof. Gunter Pauli was born in 1956. He is a graduate from St. Ignatius Loyola’s University in Belgium, Economics (1979) and obtained his MBA from INSEAD (1982) in Fontainebleau, France. He also has an honorary master in Systemic Design from the Instituto Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and an honorary doctorate in economics from the University of Pecs (Hungary).His first book was the biography of Dr. Aurelio Peccei, founder of the club of Rome, whose assistant he was from 1979 to 1984. Since then he has written 20 books printed in 34 languages, and 125 fables for children. Some estimate that 90 million copies of his fables have been distributed worldwide.In 1991 Gunter Pauli was the founder of the “Mozarteum Belgicum”, founder (1988) and president of World Watch Europe (until 1992).In 1994 Pauli initiated the Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives in Tokyo with the support of the Japanese Government and the United Nations University (UNU), redesigning production and consumption into clusters of industries inspired by natural systems.

Cornelious-PietzerCornelius Pietzer
British, Alterra Impact Finance LLC

Cornelius Pietzner has been engaged in the fields of philanthropy, social finance and investment in the US and Europe for the last 25 years. Responsible on Executive Board (CFO) Goetheanum, General Anthroposophical Society, Switzerland (2002-2011) for all aspects of finances, with affiliates in 90 countries and approx 8,000 related institutions in education, bio-dynamic agriculture, medicine, socially responsible business and banking. Trustee/Advisory Board of various foundations. Founder- Camphill (life – sharing) Communities/North America. Cornelius has a masters degree from Williams College and a fellowship from Thomas J. Watson.

Otto-ScharmerOtto Schamer
German, Founder Presencing Institute, Prof at MIT, Boston

Dr. C. Otto Scharmer is a Senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology  (MIT), and founding chair of the Presencing Institute. Scharmer chairs the MIT IDEAS program and helps groups of diverse stakeholders from business, government, and civil society to innovate at the level of the whole system. He co-founded the Global Wellbeing and Gross National Happiness Lab, which links innovators from Bhutan, Brazil, Europe, and the United States in order to innovate beyond GDP. He is working with governments in Africa, Asia, and Europe and has delivered award-winning leadership and innovation programs for clients including Alibaba, Daimler, Eileen Fisher, Fujitsu, Google, Natura, and PriceWaterhouse.Scharmer introduced the concept of “presencing” – learning from the emerging future – in his best selling books Theory U and Presence (the latter co- authored with P. Senge, J. Jaworski, and B. S. Flowers). His new book Leading from the Emerging Future: from Ego-system to Eco-system Economics (co-authored with Katrin Kaufer) focuses on transforming business, society, and self (published in July 2013).He currently is a Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Leadership  Models and holds a Ph.D. in economics and management from Witten-Herdecke University in Germany.

Vandana-ShivaVandana Shiva
Organic Activist, Founder of Navdanya, Dehradun

Dr. Vandana Shiva is an Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author.  Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books. She was trained as a physicist and received her Doctor (PhD) in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 1978 with the doctoral dissertation “Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory.”She is one of the leaders and board members of the International Forum on Globalization, and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement. She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her interview in the book Vedic Ecology (by Ranchor Prime) that draws upon India’s Vedic heritage. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Fundscion IDEAS, Spain’s Socialist Party’s think tank. She is also a member of the International Organization for a Participatory Society. She received the Right Livelihood Awards in 1993, and numerous other prizes.

Mathis-WackernagelDr. Mathis Wackernagel
Founder, Global Footprint Network

Mathis Wackernagel is a Swiss- born sustainability advocate. He is persident of global Footprint Network, an International sistainability think tank with offices in Oakland, California; Brussels, Belgium, and Geneva, Switzerland. The think-tank is a non-profit that focuses on developing and promoting metrices for sustainability.After earning a degree in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, he completed his Ph.D in community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada in 1994. There , as his doctoral dissertation under Professor William Rees, he created with professor Rees the ecological footprint concept and developed the methodology. He has worked on sustainability issues for organizations in Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia and Austriala. Wackernagel previously served as director of the Sustainability Programme at Redefining Progress in Oakland, California (1999-2003), and directed the Centre for Sustainability Studies/Centro de Estudios para la Sustentabilidad in Mexico (1995-2001). In 2004, he was also an adjunct faculty at SAGE of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2010, he was appointed Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of 1956 visiting Professor at Cornell University (1 July 2011- 30 June 2013).

Morten-SondergaardMorten Sondergaard

Balearic Islands, SpainBorn in ice cold Scandinavia and now enjoying one of the friendliest climates on earth, when at home in Mallorca. Morten Sondergaard is a serial-entrepreneur and has founded and invested in more than 80 companies over the last 20 years.After selling his first business within the chemical industry, he moved into high tech telecommunications in the late 80’s, creating various companies in Denmark, Germany, Spain, Morocco, San Marino, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Brazil. All operating in the wholesale and value added service sector. In the late 90’s, ventures from within the telecommunications market lead to the creation of various Internet startups or SMS and Digital TV companies. Basically Morten has surfed and enjoyed these and the latest waves of prosperity – not least on the Internet.But his core Modus Vivendi has changed. In the last couple of years, Morten stopped always eating the whole cake himself realizing that it is much more exiting to share the success being an active investor instead of owning and controlling everything himself – a shift that creates more value and bigger smiles, being a Smiling VC.

Susan-AndrewsSusan Andrews

Future Visions Institute and Ecological Park, BrazilDr. Susan Andrews is the Founder of the Future Visions Institute and Ecological Park in Brazil where she has created a demonstration center and conference for sustainable development, training teachers to teach biofilia and education for peace. Susan and her team teach Bio-Psychology in practice– combining traditional teachings in Ayurveda and Yoga with Neuroscience and Psychology for health and well-being.An Anthropologist, Transpersonal Psychologist and Bio-Psychologist, Susan has just completed a book on Happiness Research.

Satish-KumarSatish Kumar

A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality.Inspired in his early 20s by the example of the British peace activist Bertrand Russell, Satish embarked on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage together with E.P. Menon. Carrying no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, they walked from India to America, via Moscow, London and Paris, to deliver a humble packet of ‘peace tea’ to the then leaders of the world’s four nuclear powers.In 1973 Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally-respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College in South Devon where he is still a Visiting Fellow.He has published several books and continues to teach and run workshops on reverential ecology, holistic education and voluntary simplicity and is a much sought-after speaker both in the UK and abroad.

Henk-RogersHenk Rogers

As Blue Planet Foundation’s principal and visionary philanthropist, Henk Rogers is committed to the mission of stewarding the environment through developing non-carbon, clean energy sources. He is personally devoted to helping our planet reduce and eventually eliminate its dependence on fossil fuels.Mr. Rogers is also renowned as a global leader in the gaming industry. One of his software companies holds the exclusive intellectual property rights to Tetris, the world’s most popular video game (over 125 million units sold). Rogers revolutionized the industry when he brought the now legendary game to U.S. and world markets almost two decades ago.In the 1980s, Rogers’ groundbreaking work in Japan’s then-fledgling computer game industry led to the development of Japan’s first-ever Role Playing Game (RPG), Black Onyx (published by Bullet-Proof Software); he is known in Japan as “the father of RPG.” Henk’s reach has also greatly influenced the hand-held game systems market via his facilitation of one of the industry’s most fruitful partnerships, between Tetris and Nintendo’s Game Boy—more than 35 million units of the game have been sold through this marriage alone.Raised in Holland until age 11, Rogers attended New York City’s specialized school for mathematics, science and technology, Stuyvesant High School. He went on to study computer science at the University of Hawaii. He currently resides in Hawaii.

Ashok-KhoslaAshok Khosla

Dr. Ashok Khosla founded and was president of the thirty-year-old Development Alternatives Group and now chairs its Board. Headquartered in New Delhi, the DA Group was among the first civil society organisations set up to address the issues of sustainable development as a whole. It also pioneered the concept of social enterprise, creating business-like approaches for eradicating poverty and conserving the natural resource base.Currently, Dr Khosla is president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest and most representative alliance of conservation agencies and interest groups; co-president of the Club of Rome, a group dedicated to promoting systems-based strategic understanding of the world problematique and the human predicament; and co-chair of the Resource Panel, which has been set up by UNEP to investigate the status and trends of natural resource use in the global economy. In India, he has served on the National Security Advisory Board, the National Environment Board and the Science Advisory Council to the Cabinet and on the boards of many official, NGO and academic bodies.Global Footprint – At the international level, Ashok has had several official assignments, such as Special Advisor to the Brundtland Commission (WCED), Chair of the ‘92 NGO Forum at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and has served on the Boards of several environment and conservation organizations, including Chair of the Centre for Our Common Future, the Club of Rome and Energy Globe, and member of IISD, Stockholm Environment Institute, ZERI, the Alliance for a New Humanity, EXPO 2000, Toyota Environmental Awards.Globally, he helped to design and teach the first university course on the environment (as an assistant to Professor Roger Revelle at Harvard University, 1965); to set up and head the first governmental agency for the Environment in a developing country (under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, 1972); to set up the original international information system on environment (Infoterra, with Maurice Strong at UNEP, 1976); and to establish the first social enterprise for sustainable development (Development Alternatives, 1982).

Pema-GyalpoPema Gyalpo

Pema Gyalpo is a former Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama in Japan, from 1975 to 1990, and founder of the Tibet Culture Center International, which recently commemorated its 30th anniversary. He is presently Professor of International Law in Toin University of Yokohama, Japan. He is well known in Japan for his many books on Tibet, his columns in major newspapers, and his regular appearances on Japanese television as a news commentator on international affairs. Mr. Gyalpo holds faculty positions at Gifu women’s University, Takushoko University, Asia University and the National University of Mongolia.He has been a great admirer of Dr. Nirmala Deshpande and continues to be inspired by her vision.


Dr. Saamdu Chetri 
Executive Director

Saamdu Chetri was born on 15 October 1957 in rural Bhutan in a cowshed and holds a PhD in Commerce, a Masters Degree in Commerce and Post-Graduation Certificate in HRM. He was the first government graduate who chose to work on the development of private sector in the country in 1982. During his six years’ tenure in the private sector, he worked closely with TATA, Tractors India Limited, McLean Magor, Durgapur Steel Plant, and many other prominent firms.

He also carries 18 years’ of experience since June 1988 in socio-economic development, working as the Bhutanese Head for bilateral development agencies at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Helvetas. During this period, he was a member of numerous development programmes in and outside Bhutan, engaging in consultancies for organizations including UNDP, UNCDF, and Helvetas. His experience and expertise range from rural development, microfinance, teaching, and research, to project management and administration.

After a short break of establishing himself for societal change, he was appointed to the Office of the first democratically elected Prime Minister in May 2008.In Oct 2011, he was given the task to develop the GNH Centre in Dewaling, Bumthang, Bhutan, and now serves as its Executive Director. He has travelled in many countries since 2011 deliveringtalks to universities, public, senators, parliamentarians, addressing in conferences, and teaching /learning of GNH. He has been as well as giving lecturers to many foreign student-groups and tourists visiting Bhutansince 2013. He claims to be not a commerce student any more but a transformed strong believer in natural order of the existence and begins to advocate against global warming, non-organic farming and consumerism. He made round the earth trip in March 2017 while travelling to attend the World Happiness Summit in Miami.

Dr. Chetri has many interviews and article publications to his credit including chapters in various book publ. and two books titled ‘money and microenterprises’ and ‘far apart and close together’, and contributed to the writing of first book on Gross National Happiness and in many others thereafter.

Email Address:

Dr. Tho Ha Vinh
Programme Director

Programme Director at the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan. He is also the founder and chairman of Eurasia Foundation, a humanitarian NGO developing educational programmes for children and youth living with disabilities, as well as ecological projects in Vietnam. Previously, he served as Head of training, learning and development at the International Committee of the Red Cross. He is a Buddhist teacher the Tradition of Vietnamese Zen Buddhism ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Dr. Tho Ha Vinh has been a professor of education at several universities in Europe and Vietnam, he has published several books and many articles on topics including curative education, engaged spirituality, intercultural dialogue, adult education and humanitarian action. Dr. Tho Ha Vinh holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and Education from the University of Geneva.

Dr. Julia Kim
Senior Programme Advisor

Dr. Julia Kim is a Senior Program Advisor at the GNH Centre Bhutan. She is also a member of the International Expert Working Group for the New Development Paradigm, convened by the Government of Bhutan. She brings a background in public health programs, policy and research, with a focus on international health and sustainable development. She participated in the 2012 UN High-Level Meeting on “Happiness and Well-being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” as well as research and policy analysis on “Health, happiness and well-being: implications for public policy” (Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research). Other interests include integrating compassion and awareness-based practices within leadership development and organizational change initiatives. She is a member of the Presencing Institute – a global community that sees the integration of awareness-based practices as a core capacity of 21st-century innovation and leadership. Julia graduated from Cornell University, is a Specialist in Internal Medicine and Community-Oriented Primary Care, Tufts University School of Medicine, and holds a MSc. in Public Health in Developing Countries from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Sonam Tsoki Tenzin
Operations and Programme Coordinator

Felipe Viveros
European Coordinator

Felipe Viveros is the European repesentative of the GNH Centre Bhutan. He is a chilean born independent action researcher and consultant. Felipe holds a Masters in Science from Schumacher College, UK. Previously he served as project coordinator for the Tairona Heritage Trust, a UK charity that focuses on conservation and indigenous peoples rights. He has worked internationally creating co-learning events that combine deep ecology, permaculture & mindfulness with Wake Up International.

Bishan Gurung
Finance Officer

Sherub Chokii
Administrative Officer

Wesel Dema
Programme Officer

Pema Namgyel
Field Officer, Bumthang

Nima Tshering 
Communications Officer

 Kuenzang Dorji
Driver/Office Assistant