Mr. Tenpa Chophel Samkhar was born in July 1949 in Chushur, in the traditional Utsang region of Tibet. After escaping from Tibet, he went to CST and later in St. George’s College in Mussorie for schooling. He then joined St. Joseph’s College, North Point, Darjeeling. During his school and college days, he was a former Chief Correspondent, Editorial Board of School Monthly”- VOICE OF MANOR HOUSE” at St.George’s College, Mussoorie; Editor of College English Monthly -” The North Pointer” and Chief Editor of College Tibetan monthly – “Tibetan North Pointer” at St.Joseph’s College, North Point, Darjeeliing, India. He was an active member of both school and college Drama and Debating Clubs.
In 1976, he began his service in the Tibetan community when he was initially appointed as a senior clerk in Kashag. A year later, he was appointed as an Acting Deputy Secretary in the same department. From 1976-77, he was a Cultural Secretary & Public Relations Officer of Tibetan Youth Congress.1
In March 1979, he was promoted to Deputy Secretary of Kashag. In March 1980, he was appointed as an Acting Assistant to Cabinet Secretary. In June 1982, Mr. Samkhar was appointed as settlement officer of Lugsam Samdupling, Byalakuppe, south India. Three years after serving as settlement officer, he was appointed as the Secretary of Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Delhi.
In November 1986, he was appointed to Department of Information as an Assistant Secretary and was promoted to Additional Secretary in 1992. A year later, He was appointed as the Secretary of the Constitution Redrafting Committee.
In 1994, Mr. Samkhar took a year leave to pursue further study in the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied American Foreign Policy and international Relations as a visiting scholar. On returning, he continued his service as Chief Representative in Bangalore in 1995. Two years later, he was appointed as the Political Secretary of Kashag.
On 15 April 2002, he was appointed as Secretary of Department of Health. After completing his tenure, he retired on 1 July 2007.
On September 2007, he founded Active Nonviolence Education Center (ANEC) and remained as the Executive Director till his last breath. After prolong illness, Mr. Samkhar passed away on 08 December 2016, at the age of 66.