March 29, 2017
 
Jhamtse International Appoints Odessa Dwarika as Its First ED

Odessa Dwarika
January 2, 2017 — Jhamtse International, a nonprofit based in Acton that works to end suffering, violence,and poverty, and bring about positive change in the world through education, last week announced that it has named Odessa Dwarika as the organization’s first executive director.

Dwarika, who will start the new job Jan. 3, was chosen following a national search that entailed reviewing 50 candidates.

Jhamtse International said, “Odessa’s warm personality and dedication to helping people in need since early childhood, coupled with her outstanding record in nonprofit leadership, give us confidence that she will enable Jhamtse International to grow its ability to improve individual lives and the world through the active practice of love and compassion.”

Dwarika has more than 20 years of experience working to support healthy and equitable communities in the US and abroad. Previously, she served as project director at the Boston Public Health Commission specializing in Health Policy for 10 years. Most recently she spent five years running emergency services programs for BayCove in Boston, serving more than 1000 homeless and addicted individuals a year in the Greater Boston area.

She said, "As executive director, I will focus on tapping into diverse funding streams with the goal of growing and sustaining Jhamtse International and sharing its lessons of love and compassion with the world."

Dwarika spent her early 20's living and working in rural Latin America, and is certified as a Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology and latin american studies from Brandeis University and a Master’s Degree in intercultural relations from Lesley University.

Jhamtse International was founded in 2003 under the leadership of Tibetan monk Lobsang Phuntsok, who established Buddhist study and meditation groups in Concord and Worcester. Jhamtse (jhaam’-tsay) is Tibetan for “love and compassion.” The organization's primary outreach project is Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community in Arunachal Pradesh, India, which was featured in the 2016 Emmy winning documentary “Tashi and the Monk.”

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