Overview

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Introduced in the year 2006 as the Liaisons Council, and renamed in 2013 as the Board of Directors, this is the governing body that oversees the operations and management of the Kechara organisation. This concept stems from the monastic institution of the great Gaden Monastery, where it was adopted hundreds of years ago and endures until today.

The position of the “Chairman of the Board” in the monastery is called the ‘Chang Tso’, who reports directly to the Abbot of the monastery. Each individual “Director” or ‘Sopon’ holds a particular portfolio to support the Chang Tso by carrying out their respective duties. The position of Chang Tso and Sopons are held in high regard in the monastery and requires extreme dedication of highly trained monks who are fully responsible for all related matters in each department.

In KECHARA, the Board of Directors are elected to office for a term of two years, and are committed to assist H.E. Tsem Rinpoche in spreading the Buddhadharma far and wide. This includes creating the environment for the most challenging and rewarding training – the mind training through Lama Tsongkapa’s teachings for all who come in contact with the KECHARA organisation.

Each member of the Board of Directors brings with them a unique, special and inspiring background. Click here to read their stories, what makes successful people choose to do Dharma.


 

Charter of Governance Responsibilities

Kechara’s Board of Directors shall:

  • Be aligned with the mission and vision of Kechara’s Spiritual Advisor.
  • Approve organizational strategy, goals, plans, and budgets.
  • Establish policies, and ensure management systems are in place for compliance.
  • Approve major engagements in public policy and other external affairs activities.
  • Establish, and hold senior management accountable to, measures of organizational performance.
  • Ensure appropriate management of major risks (including risks to the Kechara’s name, reputation, and intellectual property) to Kechara.
  • Set policy and criteria for management of Kechara’s financial assets, and monitor performance against these policies and criteria.
  • Preserve Kechara’s core philosophical tenets, including but not limited to the Dharma teachings of Kechara’s Spiritual Advisor, social awareness, personal growth and development, community care, which are consistent with its ethical standards, to accomplish its goals.
  • Establish state, country, and other territorial programs and advisory groups as it deems necessary to accomplish Kechara’s mission.
  • Establish structured mechanisms for the engagement of volunteers in the activities of the departments and the mission of Kechara as a whole.
  • Create and maintain policies for developing the Board of Directors, including recruitment, tenure, leadership, board structure and composition, and board assessment and evaluation. A board assessment shall be completed once every two years.
  • Help raise significant funds for the sustainability and growth of Kechara.
  • Position Kechara as a highly effective, reputable, credible, a-political spiritual organization.

 

A Director shall:

  • Trust and be aligned with Kechara’s lineage, practice and goals.
  • Speak positively of and promote the Spiritual Advisor and Kechara.
  • Hold a leading role in a department, or actively contribute to a department or head a department in Kechara.
  • Raise funds or create the circumstances so that others can raise funds.
  • Nurture and bring new members to Kechara.
  • Be able to initiate and lead sustainable projects.
  • Assume responsibility to be fully informed of major organizational issues, including finance and management.
  • Make a significant commitment of time for meetings, and for periodic consultation with the CEO and other senior managers.
  • Possess experience or knowledge in at least one of the following areas: governance of large, for-profit or not-for-profit organizations, experience and or knowledge in management, financial control, human resource development, strategy and planning, execution and compliance, and sales and marketing.

Working so closely with Rinpoche, both as a Director and as part of Tsem Ladrang is unlike any other “job”. Rinpoche uses skilful methods to challenge my projections and preconceptions of how things should be. It is all part of spiritual training, of course, and every day I am learning to be more flexible, mentally pliable and resourceful.

Ooi Beng Kooi, Director, Tsem Ladrang

The biggest challenge when I initially joined the Ladrang was to learn the functions of the Ladrang, the Tibetan etiquette of serving the Lama and the structure of the Kechara organisation, manage the operations, raise funds to sustain the operational expenses, recruit new staff, clean the domestic area, do offerings at the altar, assist Rinpoche and receive mind transformation trainings from Rinpoche all at the same time. In a nutshell, I have enrolled myself into a spiritual boot camp which will continue for the rest of my life!

JP Thong, Director, Tsem Ladrang

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