We would love to hear from you.

Executive Director: Lodro Rinzler


Marketing and Operations: Sarah Gokhale


New York, NY

Want to make a difference in today’s world? Not entirely sure how to go about doing that?
The Institute for Compassionate Leadership takes leaders like you on a journey where you discover your purpose for creating meaningful change in today’s world. Based primarily online, our part-time program allows you to cultivate the skills of compassionate leadership alongside your full-time job and/or busy school schedule. Through working with executive coaches, being matched with mentors, and our six-month training program we offer you the tools you need to become a compassionate, self-aware leader. Then we network like heck to get you meaningful work in the social change field you desire. Click on our video below for more information or visit WHAT WE DO.


Our faculty are known leaders and innovators who specialize in meditation, community organizing, and more.

Dev Aujla


Dev runs Catalog an agency which provides recruiting services for companies that make money and do good. For the last ten years, Dev has been at the center of a progressive new generation that is rebuilding, redesigning and rethinking the ways that we do good and make money. He is the founder of DreamNow, a charitable organization which has helped young people organize and start community projects. Over the last ten years, DreamNow has reached over fifty thousand people and raised over three million dollars. His writing and work have been featured in dozens of media outlets including Fast Company, Paper Magazine, MSNBC, CBS and The Globe and Mail. He is the co-author of Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money & Community in a Changing World (Rodale/Penguin 2012).

Michael Carroll



Kate Johnson



Geoff Berman

Michael Carroll is the COO of Global Coaching Alliance and author of Awake at Work (2004), The Mindful Leader (2007) and Fearless at Work (2012) and over his 30 year business career has held executive positions with Shearson Lehman/American Express, Simon & Schuster and The Walt Disney Company. Michael presently coaches and consults with such enterprises as Merck, Procter & Gamble, AstraZeneca, Google, Starbucks, RED, and National Geographic Expeditions. Michael has been practicing meditation since 1976 and is an authorized teacher in Kagyu-Nyingma and Shambhala lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. He has lectured on the topic of bringing mindfulness-awareness into the workplace at Wharton Business School, Swarthmore College, Virginia Tech, Columbia University, Drexel  University, University of Sydney, Toronto University, Kripalu, Zen Mountain Monastery, EVAM Institute, Lerab Ling, Karme Choling, Shambhala Mountain Center, Omega Institute (assisting Pema Chodron) and many other institutions throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. 



Kate Johnson works at the intersections of spiritual practice, social action, and creative expression.  Currently, she teaches mindful yoga in NYC public schools, Buddhist meditation at The Interdependence Project, and facilitates an embodied approach to organizational and leadership development for social change agents and communities.  Kate holds a BFA in Dance from The Alvin Ailey School/Fordham University, and a MA in Performance Studies from NYU.  She has trained at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, The Interdependence Project, Laughing Lotus Yoga and The Presencing Institute.






Geoff is currently the National Organizing Director for Educators4Excellence. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up mostly in northern California and New Mexico before settling in Brooklyn, NYC. After several years working as an attorney, and several more years serving as Artistic Director of the Atlantic Acting School, Geoff combined his passion for theater and policy to work for the Obama presidential campaign in 2008 as a field organizer. After the election he as the New York State Field Director and then State Director for Organizing for America from 2009-11. From 2011-12, he served as Deputy National Training Director, and then Deputy National GOTV Director, for the Obama re-election campaign. Most recently, Geoff served as a special advisor at Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Geoff has a J.D. and master’s of arts in legal history from the University of Virginia, and a bachelor’s of arts in history from the University of California, Los Angeles. He's a lover of good food and good conversation.

Butch Frey

Butch is an organizer, advocate and activist.  He currently is the Director of Advance for Clay Pell for Governor in Providence, RI, and a Director of Spark Clean Energy. Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, he was inspired to the join the Obama campaign in 2007, and worked as a field organizer on the primary and general election campaigns. From 2010-2011, Butch served as Special Assistant to the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. He joined the Department of Energy in the fall of 2011 as an advisor to the Under Secretary of Nuclear Security, before becoming a Special Assistant for Public Engagement for the Secretary of Energy. In the 2012 election, Butch returned to the Obama reelection campaign as the Regional GOTV Director for Cincinnati, OH. After leaving the Administration, he went on to establish Spark Clean Energy in 2013 with former colleagues, and continues working  to help young people find solutions to our generation's toughest problems. Butch holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Miami University of Ohio. Finally, he is passionate about good food, great music, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. 

Erin Mazursky

Erin is the Co-Founder and President of Rhize, a new venture that is creating new ways for people and communities to build collective power to create more participatory democracies around the world. Erin brings over a decade of experience in movement-building, technology and advocacy to her work, having worked with social and political movements around the world, including in Turkey, India, and Albania. Erin started Rhize after serving as a strategist at Purpose, a social enterprise that incubates and launches global social and consumer movements. There, Erin helped to lead some of Purpose’s biggest projects, most notably with the American Civil Liberties Union and CARE International, which integrated movement-building, technology and citizen advocacy to increase the social impact. Prior to this, Erin worked for President Obama’s 2008 election campaign and went on to serve as the Youth Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she helped author the first global policy on youth development and made youth a central part of the Agency’s broader development efforts. Erin got her start as Co-Founder and Executive Director of STAND, a leading organization in the anti-genocide advocacy movement. She is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, a 2010 fellow at New Leaders Council, blogger at the Huffington Post and a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project.

Ericka Phillips


Ericka Phillips is the Executive Director of the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York, one of the largest urban meditation centers in the United States. Before becoming the E.D. at Shambhala, she worked primarily in public relations and event planning. During her college years, as a research assistant in public health, she studied school violence, urban renewal, and community based initiatives for trauma recovery post 9/11. Ericka studied Creative Writing and Social Justice Movements at Hampshire College, and Creative Writing at Columbia University. Ericka inherited a passion for politics and community organizing from her late, great-grandmother Dorothy Crosby, a long-time precinct caption and community mobilizer on Chicago's south side, where she was raised. In 2010 she completed the first yoga teacher training program with Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman at Yoga Shanti, where she now assists as a mentor.

Heidi Sieck

Heidi is the founding Chief Operating Officer of Democracy.com, the new social platform for politics incubated at the Harvard Innovation Lab in 2011 with three of her classmates from the Harvard Kennedy School.  Democracy.com seeks to connect all candidates and elected officials at every level with practical, affordable technology tools, facilitating easy online actions for their supporters and voters. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Art History from the University of Nebraska. A seeker of spiritual growth, Heidi began a daily Vipassana-based meditation practice studying with Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock over a decade ago.  She has studied all manner of spiritual paths including Buddhist dharma, Native American spiritual traditions, Christian mysticism and Angican dogma.  For her, the Golden Rule is pretty much the whole point.

Dar Vanderbeck

Dar is a community organizer. She has worked in Afghanistan, post-Revolution Egypt, Florida, Kenya and Atlanta, GA with the goal of redesigning the relationship between people and their institutions. Prior to becoming a Partner at Imperative, Dar was a Vice President at Resolute Consulting; a specialist in strategy for McKinsey & Co.; a manager of over $150 Million in small grants for the U.S. Agency for International Development‘s (USAID) Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI); manager of the Foreign Assistance Team on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team from 2008 to inauguration; a community organizer for Obama for America; and a caseworker for a human rights NGO in the prisons of coastal Kenya. A native of New Jersey, Dar grew up helping to build and run her family business, a local coffee shop. She has her bachelor of arts in Political Economies in Transition, an independent interdisciplinary major from Bates College. Dar is a former Barlow Fellow, where she recorded narratives of home from displaced Somali peoples in Kenya and Maine; a summer Signature Experience Fellow in Tanzania and part of Open Society Institute’s pilot class for their Empowering Education Program in the Ukraine. Dar is a professor of Social Design Thinking at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and resides in Atlanta, GA.

Ethan Nichtern


Ethan is a Shastri, a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. At 35, he is currently the youngest empowered Senior Teacher in the global Shambhala community. He is is the author  of the acclaimed dharma book One City: A Declaration of Interdependence (Wisdom Pubs, 2007), the forthcoming The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path (Farrar Straus and Giroux, January 2015) and the novella/poetry collection Your Emoticons Won't Save You (Nieto Books, 2012). He is also the founder of the Interdependence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Secular Buddhist practice and psychology and transformational. For the past 11 years, Ethan has taught meditation and Buddhist psychology classes and workshops around New York City and the United States. He primarily studies in the Shambhala tradition under Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, but has also studied Theravadan and Soto Zen Buddhism. He is an avid yoga practitioner. He was formerly on the part-time faculty at Eugene Lang College at New School University and has lectured at Brown, Wesleyan, Yale, NYU, FIT, and other universities, and  as well as at many Shambhala and other meditation/yoga centers and conferences around the country and world. Ethan has been featured on CNN and NPR to discuss Buddhism and meditation in the 21st Century. His writing has been featured on The Huffington Post, Beliefnet, Tricycle Magazine, BuddhaDharma Magazine, Reality Sandwich, as well as other online publications.

Joseph Mauricio


Hylke Faber

Joseph is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and has studied meditation with scores of teachers, including Pema Chodron at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia. He has been a close student of his primary teacher, Sakyong Mipham, lineage holder of the Shambhala Tradition, for 25 years. Joseph has completed many intensive retreats, programs and advanced teacher trainings in meditation and Buddhist studies. Aside from his work throughout Shambhala's International community, Joe has presented meditation practice, motivational lectures and creativity workshops in schools, businesses, jails, hospitals, nightclubs and lounges. As founder of L I F E W O R K  Meditation Based Coaching Services, Joseph works with to help clients find their authentic orientation in life and develop their private voice in a public arena.  He has begun dharmajunkies, a conscious community discussion on compassion based activism.


Hylke supports leaders and their teams in their transformation with a focus on co-creating conditions where deep personal and interpersonal shifts can happen. In 2014, Hylke founded Constancy, Inc., a company dedicated to culture, team and leadership transformation. Before that, he co-founded Co-Creation Partners and worked at Axialent, both culture and leadership development companies. He continues to serve as an active member of the Axialent Faculty Network. Hylke supports leaders and top teams of Fortune 500 companies to increase awareness of and build skill in behaviors, mindsets and team dynamics that help their effectiveness and fulfillment. Prior to becoming a facilitator and coach, he was a partner in a strategy consulting boutique, Strategic Decisions Group, with a focus on portfolio strategy and decision making in life sciences companies. Hylke has an M.A in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and a B.B.A from Nijenrode University in the Netherlands where he grew up. 

Adreanna Limbach


Adreanna's quest to do meaningful work in the world led her to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she cut her teeth on coaching technique, social entrepreneurship, and has served as a Student Coach to cohorts of changemakers since 2009. Around the same time she found her home in the community at The Interdependence Project (IDP) where she continues to study, practice, teach and play with others who inspire her path. She has served as a lead coordinator for IDP's Transformational Activism Branch, taught meditation to Junior High schoolers  through The Urban Yoga Foundation and was co-coordinator of Occupy Wall Street's Meditation Working Group in NYC, which brought the daily practice of mindfulness meditation to the volunteers at Zuccotti Park in 2011. In her private coaching practice, Adreanna works one-on-one with women to embrace their inherent sufficiency and practice their possibilities at DeliciousIntent.com

David Perrin

Frank Ryan


Lisa Zigarmi


Jacoby Ballard



Jim Rosen


David is a meditation instructor and teacher in the Shambhala tradition, as well as Co-Director for Societal Health and Wellbeing in the New York Shambhala community. David is an expressive arts therapist and professional coach currently employed by Counseling in Schools in New York City. As a social change philanthropist David has served on various nonprofit Boards including the Counseling on Foundations - Family Foundations Advisory, and the Perrin Family Foundation. David lives in New York City with partner Anne and their three wonderful children.




Frank Ryan has worked within nonprofit organizations for over forty years.  He is currently on the Board of the Prison Mindfulness Institute which focuses on inmate development and prison reform.  Frank has presented seminars on mindfulness and effective engagement throughout North America, Europe, and Russia.









Lisa Zigarmi is a seasoned leadership consultant and coach. She partners with Fortune 500 companies to build the leadership capacity of their staff and is passionate about creating saner, more effective, and more meaning-driven organizations. As a Director of Solutions for the Ken Blanchard Companies®, she codesigns and implements learning curriculums and development experiences that drive business outcomes. Lisa is also the coauthor of #Positivity at Work—a book that highlights the best practices for enabling positivity within individuals and companies.







Jacoby Ballard, E-RYT 500, is a white working-class queer transperson who has been teaching yoga for 15 years and practicing western herbalism for 10 years. He is the co-founder of Third Root Community Health Center, a worker-owned cooperative holistic health center in Brooklyn that opened in 2008. He is also the National Program Coordinator of Third Root Education Exchange, the non-profit branch of Third Root, which conducts diversity trainings for yoga teachers around the country facilitated by a pair skilled yoga teachers and social justice facilitators. Jacoby is Faculty with Off the Mat, Into the World and on the Advisory Board of the Yoga Service Council, working within the dynamic interstices of justice and mindfulness. He has received training by Kashi Atlanta, Kripalu, the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, the Dinacharya School of Ayurveda, the Lineage Project, Off the Mat, Into the World, Yoga for 12-Step Recovery, Street Yoga, Insight Meditation Society, and the Challenging Male Supremacy Project. Currently, primary inquiries in Jacoby's healing justice work is around balancing self care and community care. www.jacobyballard.com


Jim Rosen is an executive coach who works with leaders to grow their capacity to create extraordinary results and wellbeing. He draws on his experience spanning both the business and the contemplative worlds. An MIT graduate and a serial entrepreneur, Jim cofounded and helped build two successful software startups, Netegrity and LAN Systems. As a member of Netegrity’s founding management team, he was instrumental in contributing to the company's growth from start-up to one of the country’s fastest growing security software companies. Jim also held leadership roles in some of the largest technology firms in the industry including Lotus and Genuity. As a long-time Buddhist practitioner he has been studying and teaching mindfulness for over 30 years. His work stems from this nexus of these two worlds. He has served on the boards of corporate and non-profit organizations and is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Naropa University.For more information, go to www.mindfulaware.com