Rinchen Dharlo was born in Nyanang, in southwestern Tibet, a small town that was at one time a major trade center between Tibet and Nepal. In 1959, his family escaped into exile in India. Dharlo began working for the Tibetan government-in-exile in 1972. From 1978 to 1987, he was director of the Office of Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s representative in Nepal. He served on the boards of the Carpet Trading Co., the Jawalkhel Handicraft Pvt. Ltd., Tashi Palkhyil Handicraft Center Pvt. Ltd., and the Snow Lion Foundation.
Dharlo helped establish a number of Tibetan schools in Nepal. He translated into Tibetan a booklet called “Monarchy in Nepal” and a brief biography of His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram. He also wrote a guidebook on the Buddhist holy places in Nepal.
In 1986, he was transferred to New York. As the representative of the Dalai Lama to the Americas from 1987 to 1997, Dharlo headed the Office of Tibet in New York City, which is the official agent for the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. He coordinated the Dalai Lama’s visits to North and South America and worked to establish and maintain contacts with governments and other organizations, including numerous Tibet support groups. He was also active in fundraising projects to help various Tibetan refugee needs in India and Nepal.
In addition to regular duties, Dharlo co-chaired the Tibetan-U.S. Resettlement Project, which successfully resettled 1,000 Tibetan refugees in 21 cities throughout the United States during 1992 and 1993. He served on the steering committee of the Global Forum of Spiritual Parliamentary in 1988 and was a board member of the Temple of Understanding, a global interfaith association. He has also served on the board of International Campaign for Tibet, a nonprofit organization that monitors and promotes human rights and democratic freedoms in Tibet, and the Tibet House, a cultural and education center dedicated to preserving Tibet’s unique culture.
In his current position as the president of the Tibet Fund, Dharlo coordinates the office’s efforts to help the Tibetan communities both in exile and within Tibet by providing and administrating financial and other support for education, health, economic and community development, emergency relief and cultural preservation and exchange.
Dharlo lives in New York with his wife and three daughters.