Robert A. F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. The NY Times Magazine refers him to as "The Dalai Lama's man in America." A close personal friend of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for more than forty-five years, he is a former Tibetan Buddhist monk, co-founder with Richard Gere of Tibet House in New York City, and the father of five children including the actress, Uma Thurman. Time magazine named him one of the "25 Most Influential Americans." He has lectured all over the world; his charisma and enthusiasm draw packed audiences. His academic and popular writing explore the relevance and application of Tibetan Buddhism to contemporary thought and science, and world cultures and politics.