President | Naropa University
Chuck Lief was named the 7th president of Naropa University in 2012 after many years as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. He has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and teacher for 50 years.
Under Chuck’s leadership, the Buddhist inspired, secular, Naropa University, which was the birthplace in 1974 of the modern mindfulness movement, has developed strategic partnerships to deepen Naropa’s impact on its students and on the world. This includes a revitalized commitment to diversity and inclusion, the climate crisis, deepening and expanding offerings in the areas of contemplative and compassion training, and offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs including psychology, education, leadership, chaplaincy, Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, writing and poetics, performance, yoga studies. Mindfulness and compassion practices and tools, are fully integrated into the academic disciplines. Naropa’s Authentic Leadership Center provides leadership and mindfulness training to both for-profit and non-profit businesses and government.
Chuck has had a long history with the Social Venture Network. He supported Naropa’s good fortune to co-sponsor the very first gathering at Gold Lake CO which resulted in the creation of SVN. He was also the first president of the Greyston Foundation in Yonkers, NY, a founding member of SVN which grew into one of the most innovative and successful organizations providing integrated social enterprises and social services providing essential housing, health care, and employment to thousands of low-income people in the Northeast.
Chuck has served in leadership capacities on numerous boards, including chair of the Intervale, supporting sustainable agriculture in Vermont and as Vice Chair of the Vermont Community Loan Fund. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of the Lion’s Roar Foundation-the Buddhist media company, , and is a board member of Bridge House which offers housing and employment to homeless people, the Holistic Life Foundation offering yoga and meditation to more than 10,000 students in the Baltimore public schools and Veteran’s PATH bringing mindfulness, compassion and outdoor adventure opportunities to Veterans who are chronically underserved.