His Holiness the Dalai Lama
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of Tibet was born in 1935, and began his monastic education at the age of six. At 23, he was awarded a degree equivalent to a doctorate of Buddhist philosophy. In 1959, following the Chinese invasion of Tibet, His Holiness was forced to escape into exile. Since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India. The Dalai Lama has remained a strong advocate of peace, and in 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems. His Holiness has held dialogues with heads of different religions and participated in many events promoting inter-religious harmony and understanding.
Revd Desmond Tutu
Desmond Tutu was ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church in 1960, and after a remarkable career of ministry, in 1980 he was elected Archbishop of Cape Town. After the country's first multi racial elections in 1994, President Mandela appointed Archbishop Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, investigating the human rights violations of the previous 34 years In 1984, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, "not only as a gesture of support to him and to the South African Council of Churches of which he is leader, but also to all individuals and groups in South Africa who, with their concern for human dignity, fraternity and democracy, incite the admiration of the world."
Diana L. Eck
Diana is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University where she serves on the Committee on the Study of Religion in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Since 1991, she has been heading a research team at Harvard to explore the new religious diversity of the United States and its meaning for the American pluralist experiment. In 1996, Diana was appointed to a U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad, a twenty-member commission charged with advising the Secretary of State on enhancing and protecting religious freedom in the overall context of human rights.
Dadi Janki is a pioneer in spiritual leadership. In 2007 she became the Administrative Head of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, known for its grass roots work and its role convening international projects and dialogue about issues of world transformation.