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Board of Directors

Kadampa Center has an active Board of Directors that is responsible for the fiduciary health of the organization.

The Center Director and the Spiritual Program Coordinator are permanent members of the Board. Others typically participate for 3-year terms, staggering, with an end-date in July.

Board meetings are open to Center membership, and occur every other month on the third Sunday after the regular teachings (usually at 12:15).

Board Message of January 21, 2018:

Message from the Board of Directors:

Rejoice in the generosity of our community! This year’s Annual Appeal will meet at least 70% of Kadampa Center’s overall budget. You still have time to ‘Join the Journey’ as the 2017 Annual Appeal will be open until January 31.

And while it is disappointing to learn His Holiness the Dalai Lama has indefinitely postponed plans to visit Raleigh in 2018 - the invitation remains open and Kadampa Center benefited greatly by raising awareness of our Center in the greater Raleigh community.

We extend our deepest gratitude to outgoing Board President Hemant Pandya for his years of service and we join our aspirations to fulfill the wishes of our teachers with our new Board President Sandy Carlson.

The Kadampa Center BOD started 2018 with this intention written by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama:

“All of us are travelers through a journey of time. We travel through time, months, weeks, days, and so on. So today is 2018, the important thing is when we look back from 2019 to 2018, how would you think about the year that you have spent? Would you have a sense of contentment; saying that I have lived that year well? I have served the purpose of that year? Or would you be looking back with a sense of regret for all the troubles you have caused?

It’s important that, as we begin the New Year, look forward. We should project our intention ahead, so that we make this year a meaningful one. So that when we turn back to look at it, we can live our life with a sense of happiness and joy.”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Muuch love,

~ Your Board of Directors

May our intentions and actions continue to fulfill the wishes of our teachers.  
The Board of Directors

Click here for more Board of Directors Messages

2018 Board of Directors

Center Director

Robbie Watkins first studied with Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Kopan Monastery in 1980. He became a member of Kadampa Center in 1993. After serving as Spiritual Program Director, he became Director of the Center in 1998. He is involved in leading Discovering Buddhism. During his spare time, he works as a family physician in Cary.



Chairman of the Board

Sandy joined Kadampa Center in 2010.  A practicing Buddhist for many years, she aspires to use the teachings in every aspect of her life. Over the years, Sandy has volunteered in many roles at the Center, most currently as one of the Buddhism in a Nutshell Class leaders. She and her husband, John, own Blue Yonder Media, a communications company specializing in strategic messaging, HD Video Production and web-based identities.


Rebecca has been a member of Kadampa Center since 2008, and has attended teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Delek, Ven Robina Courtin as well as many of the inspirational Sangha who are in residence at, or who have visited the Center.  She has volunteered in varying capacities over the years, and is delighted to now serve Kadampa Center, our community and the FPMT through participation on the Board of Directors. 

Spiritual Program Coordinator

Donna started attending Kadampa Center in 1999, and knew she had found her spiritual home the first time she walked through the doors. Over the years she has found the Dharma to be of incredible benefit in living her daily life, raising her daughter in partnership with her husband, and helping her parents make the transition into death.
She has worked in a variety of roles at the Center and hopes her service as co-spiritual program coordinator will be of benefit to our teachers, our community, and all beings.


David Strevel discovered the Kadampa Center in 2004 and became a member soon after.  He is thankful that the Tibetan Buddhist practice  at Kadampa Center is the most engaging and beneficial spiritual tradition he has ever found.  David has been on the Board since 2009 and is currently the Treasurer.  As a volunteer, he was the Project Manager for adding the Classroom Building to the Center in 2009-2010 and was a leader on the team building the Center's Kadampa Stupa, 2011-2013.  He also volunteers as a photographer of Center events.  He has a Ph.D. in business and is retired from computer center management.


Royden Saah became a member of the Kadampa Center in 2007. The teachings offered practices and a philosophy that Royden has found beneficial on all levels including the ‘everyday’ aspect. Royden has found that the Kadampa Center is one of the easiest places to put the teachings into practice and strives to take that motivation with him wherever he goes (with varying degrees of success). Among other roles, Royden has participated in the Newcomer Question and Answer sessions as a way to increase comfort for those that visit our center just one time, or stay for a lifetime.

Julie has participated at Kadampa Center since 1993. She started practicing Zen Buddhism in 1985 and, after attending teachings by His Holiness in 1988, made Tibetan Buddhism her primary spiritual path. She is the principal of Mayin, LLC, a real estate finance and development consulting business.
Julie served as a Spiritual Program Coordinator from 1999-2008 and now lives in Kentucky, participating online regularly.

Hemant Pandya has been attracted to Buddhism since 1994 when he met Tibetan monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery when they performed "Sacred Music, Sacred Dance" for world harmony at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Since then he has studied Buddhism and visited Nepal twice further deepening his interest in Dharma.

Hemant feels very fortunate to have found the Kadampa Center and the precious teachings offered by its Sangha. He is pleased to serve the Center and its community as a board member. He resides in North Raleigh, is married and has two grown children.

Steve became interested in Buddhist teachings while living in Europe during the 1970s. While taking an FPMT online course in 2013 Steve discovered the Kadampa Center and has been studying and practicing at Kadampa ever since. In addition to the courses Kadampa offers he is also enrolled in the “Foundation of Buddhist Thought,” an education course of the Jamyang Centre in London which is also affiliated with FPMT. Steve is a capital case defense investigator in both state and federal court. He sees the teachings of the Buddha as personal advice and hopes volunteering at Kadampa will make the Dharma more available.

I became a member in 2009 took refuge with Khensur Rinpoche that same year, was immediately interested and became a volunteer. I have joyfully engaged in a number of planning and execution roles, from the Annual Appeal to Light of the Path. I am currently on the Board of Directors, help clean up and will take the trash out! I feel very fortunate to give back to our community at Kadampa.