Glenn Fawcett - Director of Field Operations
An Australian native, Glenn came to live in India in 1995 where he worked for almost two years as a volunteer before becoming the Director of the White Lotus Sponsorship Program in 1997. For the next seven years, he created and implemented educational and social programs for Tibetan refugees and underserved Indian communities. Lotus Outreach was established almost entirely on the platform of programs and partnerships he developed during that time. Twelve years later, Glenn spends his time equally between India and Cambodia and continues to live his commitment to social development and justice.
Elise De Grande - Executive Director
Growing up in Brazil, Elise witnessed the burdens of the underprivileged class, including minimal access to education and healthcare. Elise was first introduced to Glenn Fawcett and Lotus Outreach on a trip to India in 2006. Greatly inspired by Lotus Outreach’s programs, she hoped to one day join the staff of the organization. In 2008, Elise received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Translation and Literature magna cum laude from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Following graduation, she moved to India to work as the Executive Assistant to Lotus Outreach Chairman Khyentse Norbu, founder and leader of three other global non-profits. While living in India, Elise travelled extensively through the subcontinent and saw firsthand the suffering of impoverished children entrapped by the circumstances they were born into. This experience intensified Elise’s commitment to work that could change lives. In 2011, Elise joined the non-profit Khyentse Foundation as an apprentice to the Executive Committee, and was trained in project development and research, donor relations and long-term strategic planning. In August 2013, she was invited to serve as the Executive Director of Lotus Outreach, fulfilling her aspiration to participate in the extraordinary and transformative work of the organization. Elise lives in Sacramento, California, with her husband Wyatt Arnold and their two rescued street dogs from India. She is deeply passionate about human rights, animal rights, universal access to education and the preservation of threatened cultures.
Wesley Samms – Grants Manager
Wesley began his career of service volunteering at a school for “high-risk” children in the slums of San Jose, Costa Rica. Many of these children lived in the corrugated metal shacks along the highway, with no running water or electricity. Returning to the city of New Orleans in 2006 after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Wesley began volunteering with local nonprofits serving immigrant laborers. He became employed at Catholic Charities New Orleans, working on an innovative prisoner reentry program which was the first in the nation to enroll ex-prisoners into AmeriCorps. In this position he performed grant writing and research functions as well as many other administrative functions. Wesley continued to serve the Latino residents of New Orleans, volunteering as a Spanish-English medical interpreter. In 2011, he began a Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Kansas, and graduated in 2013. He is proud to be serving as Lotus Outreach’s grants manager.
Raksmey Var – Country Representative, Cambodia
Raksmey first began her community work in 2001 when she organized a group of secondary school children to participate in Environment Day. She went on to volunteer as a teacher and mentor for a youth group that provided social services to poor children, where she taught kids about children’s rights and dental hygiene and encouraged them to become involved in recreational games. At the same time she was working as a part-time English teacher at a private school which allowed her to interact with young people every day. Though Raksmey loved working with children, she wanted to do more to help them. Raksmey received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting in 2004 from National University of Management in Cambodia. In 2007, she completed her Master’s in Gender and Development Studies as the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand, where she completed her thesis on "Gender Differentiated Issues in Balancing Work and Education for Working Children in the Context of the Tourist Boom: A Case Study of Angkor Park, Siem Reap, Cambodia.” Raksmey’s areas of interest include children's education, child and youth mobility and employment, livelihood development, child labor, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Suraj Kumar - Project Manager, India
Suraj is a Delhi native who began working with Lotus Outreach in 2005 as a member of the Social Jurists of Delhi as a part of the Right to Education Task Force (RETF). Following the success of RETF, Suraj was invited to join Lotus Outreach as Project Manager for our new Lotus Education as a Right Network (LEARN) program, which is applying the lessons learned from the highly successful RETF to the rural state of Haryana. As RETF program manager, Suraj was responsible for surveying the conditions of Delhi schools, mobilizing local volunteers, managing a help line and coordinating with a myriad of government and municipal departments. Suraj's previous work involved collaborating with local and international NGOs to build Children's Rights Networks as well as providing computer training to children in slums and urban villages.
Erika Keaveney - Consultant
Erika was first exposed to both the beauty and tragedy of Cambodia during a trip to Southeast Asia in the summer of 2007. After visiting the Killing Fields of Cheong Ek to the orphanages of Phnom Penh, Erika was inspired to find a way to help the people of Cambodia move beyond their dark history. Upon her return, Erika began volunteering with Lotus Outreach and shortly thereafter joined the organization as Development Manager. Erika served as Lotus Outreach’s Executive Director from 2008-2013, and currently provides consulting services to the staff and board. Erika began her professional career as Business Manager with multiple career consulting firms in Southern California. Erika received her BA magna cum laude in 2008 from the University of California-San Diego. She is currently pursuing her MA in International Comparative Education at Stanford University, and will be conducting quantitative analyses of Lotus Outreach’s education programs as a part of her master’s thesis research. Erika currently serves on the Board of Directors of America for Animals and is the co-founder of the San Diego chapter of Dining for Women, a global giving circle dedicated to helping women and girls in developing countries.
Board of Directors
Khyentse Norbu - Chairman
Khyentse Norbu, also known in the Buddhist world as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, is trained as a philosophy teacher and attended university in London. He is a student of important Tibetan Buddhist lamas including Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kyabje Sakya Trizin, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, and the16th Karmapa. He is the head of the renowned Dzongsar Monastery and Dzongsar College and is currently responsible for the care and education of approximately 1,600 monks distributed between six monasteries and institutes in Asia. Khyentse Norbu also oversees six branches of Siddhartha’s Intent, contemporary teaching and practice centers distributed over several continents, as well as the non-profit organizations Khyentse Foundation and Lotus Outreach. A position as technical advisor to the film “Little Buddha” in 1994 served as Khyentse Norbu’s introduction to film. He has since directed two feature length productions, “The Cup” in 1999 and “Travellers and Magicians” in 2003. “The Cup” was a surprise hit at the Cannes Film Festival and received numerous awards, including the 1999 Munich Film Festival One Future Award,1999 Pusan International Film Festival FPRESCI Award, 1999 Noosa Film Festival Golden Boomerang Trophy, 1999 Toronto Film Festival “Runner Up” People’s Choice Award, and the 1999 European Film Awards Nominated Five Continents Award.
Patty Waltcher - President
Patty's passion for Lotus Outreach was ignited nine years ago when she discovered the organization was successfully meeting needs in the developing world that were both prevalent and overlooked. A 30-year student of meditation and Tibetan Buddhism, Patty felt it was crucial to dedicate herself to activities that would have practical benefit for suffering human beings. Patty has a master's degree in Buddhist Studies and has taught meditation and awareness for 25 years, and has more than ten years’ experience serving on non-profit boards including those of Siddhartha’s Intent, the Ojai Music Festival and Satdharma. She has a background in human resources and organizational development in the global financial services sector and currently works in real estate in Ojai, California, where she lives with her husband, William Okin. Patty has traveled extensively throughout India, and in 2010 visited LO’s projects there which furthered her commitment to the cause. She has served on the Board of Directors since 2004, chaired the fundraising committee since 2006 and served as Vice President beginning in 2009. She was elected President of Lotus Outreach in January 2011.
Penelope Tree – Vice President and President, Lotus Outreach United Kingdom
Penelope, born in New York City, attended Dalton School, Concord Academy, The United Nations School, and Sarah Lawrence College. She modeled in the US and the UK from 1966-1971 and travelled extensively during this time and throughout the 1970’s. While living in Sydney in the 1980’s, she was the Australian correspondent for Architectural Digest. Her son, Michael, was born in Sydney in 1989. In the 1990’s, she joined the staff of the Australia Tibet Council, sat on the board of Planet Ark Australia and became a student of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. In 1998, she moved to London with her family. She became a board member and UK representative of Khyentse Foundation in 2001 and joined Lotus Outreach in 2003. She recently became a member of the selection committee for the Khyentse Visitorship at Oxford School of Buddhist Studies. Penelope has had articles published in English Vogue and Harpers Queen.
Ed Malley - Treasurer
Ed’s early professional career was in the investment consulting business. Later he was involved in real estate and, more recently, in remodeling houses. He earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from Santa Clara University and his MBA from American University. He has two grown children. Ed makes his home on the Monterey Bay in California's Central Coast where he teaches running. With previous board experience in both the public and private sectors, Ed has been on the board of Lotus Outreach and has served as its Treasurer since 2004.
Agam was born in Kenya, attended secondary school in the United Kingdom, and now lives in the United States. He is fluent in English, Swahili and Hindi and has strong connections to India, Africa and the developing world. During his formative years in Kenya, he was involved with social development projects and also worked in the corporate banking sector. Agam has an MBA in International Business with a concentration in Strategic Planning. He is a volunteer consultant to the ‘Strategic Planning’ and the ‘Technology’ Committees for the Desert Sands Unified School District in Coachella Valley, California where he advises, negotiates with and assists in the conceptualization and design of the school district’s strategies and to set priorities in keeping with the government’s education framework and policies. After working in the private sector for over 12 years, Agam now seeks to utilize his entrepreneurial skills, business acumen and strategic thinking in the social and development sectors.
Marlow Brooks is honored to be on the Board of Directors of Lotus Outreach. Having raised five children and gifted with many grandchildren, she feels a strong call of service and support to women and children in vulnerable and desperate circumstances. Her passions run Asian; she is classically trained as a Five Element Acupuncturist, has taught the Psychology of the Five Elements and courses in art and Buddhist meditation at Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado for over 13 years. She served on Naropa University’s Board of Trustees for six years. She is also an artist and an avid practioner of Chinese calligraphy. Her art is shown in the United States and major exhibitions in China, Japan, and Korea.
Angie Dillon-Shore, M.A., M.Ed.
Angie joined the Lotus Outreach Board of Directors in 2009. She has 20 years of experience serving in the field of human services and public health, implementing and providing oversight of programs for low-income, foster and homeless youth, as well as victims of family and sexual violence. She is currently the Director of Healthy Communities Programs at Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County, overseeing preventative health, family strengthening, youth development and homeless services programs, all focused on the reduction of disparities in social and economic justice for families living in poverty. Previously, at Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, Angie managed HIV/STD outreach and test counseling program, targeting homeless youth. In addition, she has increased the capacity of many other non-profit agencies through training, technical assistance and fund development. At the heart of Angie’s commitment to improve the lives of families and children both locally and through her support of Lotus Outreach’s programs, is her 25 years of study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
Cara Goldberg is a television producer based in Los Angeles, California, that has been working in the industry for the last sixteen years. Besides collaborating with prolific producers like Mark Burnett, Bertram Van Munster and JD Roth, she works with all of the major networks. Her expertise is in putting a great team together, guiding them through fast paced working environment while keeping the projects on schedule and most importantly, on budget. Having worked with many budgets over 20 million dollars, she is good at problem solving and at making network executives’ vision a reality. Cara has international experience, working with different governments setting up and running television shows, as well as hiring local labor for the productions. After several years of developing and producing shows with Mark Burnett, Cara founded Persistent Productions to produce ideas she developed. Cara is a member of the Producers Guild and serves on the Membership Committee.
Michaela Haas, Ph.D.
Michaela Haas is a lecturer and research scholar of Buddhist philosophy at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is a German journalist, TV-host, and documentary filmmaker who now divides her time between the U.S. and Germany. She is also the founder and owner of Haas live! Communication Coaching Consulting, an international coaching company that specializes in media and mindfulness training for business leaders and media professionals. As an international reporter, she has lived in Asia for many years and has reported on issues such as trafficking, poverty and child labor. This inspired her to become a volunteer media consultant for Lotus Outreach, and she joined the Board of Directors in 2011.
Germaine A. Hoston, Ph.D.
Dr. Germaine A. Hoston is a leading expert on East Asian political philosophy and development, a dedicated teacher and mentor, and an activist promoting peace and social justice for over 20 years. As Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Hoston combines an extraordinary breadth and depth of research and writing with dedicated, enthusiastic, and innovative teaching. Best known for her work on the relationship between Chinese and Japanese thought and political and economic development, Dr. Hoston is now completing a comparative study of Faith, Will, and Revolutionary Change.
An avid student of foreign languages, Dr. Hoston is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, French, and Spanish, uses materials in Russian, Italian, Biblical Greek, and Latin in her research, and is currently studying Arabic for this latest project. An active leader in non-profit groups working on democratization and East Asia, as well as church-related groups, she integrates all aspects of her fulfilling life around a strong spiritual commitment to social justice and global citizenship. Most recently, Dr. Hoston has joined Mark Victor Hansen and others as coauthor of I Am a Miracle, and Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Wayne Dyer as co-author of the best-selling book Wake Up and Live the Life You Love: Seize Your Success.
Jody was introduced to the programs of Lotus Outreach on a trip to Cambodia in the company of President Patty Waltcher, Executive Director of Field Operations Glenn Fawcett and Country Representative Raksmey Var. Jody met young Cambodian women benefiting from the GATE program, Lotus Outreach microfinance initiatives and the SMART advocacy project. She also witnessed firsthand the dedication of the local men and women who were running these programs. Convinced of the organization's potential to make a difference in the lives of young women while still respecting local custom, Jody joined the Lotus Outreach Board of Directors in 2011. The mother of four daughters herself, Jody has a soft spot for young women. Jody is a former corporate lawyer and now mediates for the courts of Los Angeles. She has an LLM in Dispute Resolution and hopes to use her skills to enhance understanding in the world. She lives with her husband, David in Pacific Palisades and Ojai, California.
Julie Chender - Lotus Outreach Society Canada
Julie served twelve years on the Board of Planned Parenthood in Halifax, Nova Scotia—the leading regional women’s sexual health clinic—and the last five as executive chair. Julie also has extensive experience in event planning and organization. For the past eleven years she has been involved in ALIA (formerly the Shambhala Institute for Authentic Leadership), both in coordinating and hosting events and as a student of group collaboration. Julie grew up in Denver, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado and New York University. She has been a student of Buddhism since 1972, first with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and since 2000 with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. During that time she raised three daughters, now grown, with her husband, Michael. The family moved from Colorado to Canada in 1988.
Valerie Chou – Lotus Outreach Hong Kong
Valerie is currently a Vice President with the Private Wealth Management Group of Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong. She is an integral part of the Morgan Stanley Investment Team and her focus is on managing discretionary and advisory portfolios for wealthy family groups and small to medium-sized companies. Valerie specializes in foreign exchange market products in addition to global equity market products. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 1998, Valerie was with the Investment Management Division of Credit Lyonnais, Aetna Investment Management and Sanford Bernstein Investment Management. Valerie graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. She joined the Board of Lotus Outreach in 2006.
Anna Harper - Lotus Outreach Australia
With more than 30 years in the business environment, including 14 years living and working as an executive in Southeast and Northeast Asia, Anna understands the complexity of achieving business objectives across cultural borders. Anna specialises in executive coaching, leadership development and creating collaborative communication cultures within global teams. Her capabilities also include global leadership development, organisational culture shaping, corporate social responsibility, effecting organisational and team alignment, and life and wellness coaching. She has served a range of industries including: business technology communications; automobiles; pharmaceuticals and healthcare; banking, finance and insurance; consumer goods; defence; airlines; advertising; logistics, oil and mining; and public sector organizations such as the United Nations, where she develops future leaders for many of the agencies in the Asia Pacific region, including UNHCR in Cambodia.
Anna earned an M.A. degree in Organisational Development, specialising in Chaos, Complexity and Creativity, essential for transformational cultural change and leadership capacity to lead the transitions. She has completed post-graduate work in Communications Management and Design Management. In addition, she is a certified coach and a member of the International Coach Federation, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, World Business Academy, Institute of Noetic Sciences and Institute of Integral Leadership. Anna is passionate about shaping young leaders and has recently created FutureLeadersDNA. A native of New Zealand, currently residing in Sydney, Anna is fluent in English, speaks conversational Japanese and Cantonese, travelling extensively for work and pleasure.
Regina Kaczmarek – Lotus Outreach Germany
Regina started her career as a stylist, set designer and scout for fashion shows, photo shoots and film production. In 1983, she developed media concepts, handled the public relations and events for the Design Horizonte. On their behalf, she worked on sponsorship for design events and exhibitions for Philipp Starck, Alfredo Arribas and others. In 1993, she opened an agency for casting, location work and photo production. Since 1995, she has volunteered for different projects particularly children’s charities. She was involved in the founding of White Lotus in India. She has traveled many times to Africa, India and Cambodia, and found her passion to help and the support local organizations growing stronger. When her daughter was born in 1998, she knew that she was committed to helping children. In 2007, she founded Lotus Outreach in Germany and became its president.