Boulder Shambhala Center Director Search

BSC Director Search Process is complete!

Welcome to our new Executive Director, Jessie Friedman!

Jessie has been a member of Vajradhatu and then Shambhala since the 1970’s when she first met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She maintains a dedicated practice of the Buddhist and Shambhala teachings.

She has extensive experience in the non-profit world. This has included all levels of management, budgeting and fund raising. She was the Executive Director of Light Of Berotsana, a non-profit dedicated to the translation and preservation of Buddhist literature. Six years ago, she brought to Boulder the internationally renowned Jaipur Literature Festival and has been its Executive Director since then. In these and in much of her work and life she has developed extensive connections throughout the Buddhist world and in the social, governmental and arts community in Boulder.

For years Jessie has had a psychotherapy practice with significant training in trauma and grief as well as somatic awareness and processing. She has also completed ongoing educational training in other areas such as organizational development, the Authentic Leadership program, and Theory U.

Especially in this time of great challenge, we are so grateful to all the candidates who applied for this position—how generous you are! We are also grateful to the leadership and exertion of the Director Search Committee—thank you.

Please help us welcome Jesse and support her efforts to lead BSC, meet our current challenges, and protect and offer the Shambhala teachings for the benefit of ourselves, all beings, and society.

It was officially announced on Shambhala Day—Monday, February 24, 2020.


The BSC Director Search Committee deeply thanks the community members, BSC staff, governing council, and especially the candidates who have put themselves forward.

In the service of the Three Jewels,

Jon Barbieri, Jim Fladmark, Ulrike Halpern, Heather Locke & Ed Smutney


The Boulder Shambhala Center seeks to hire a new Executive Director

The Boulder Shambhala Center (BSC) seeks to hire a new Executive Director in February 2020. Established in 1973, Boulder Shambhala is the largest city center in the Shambhala global community. We have a vibrant community of practitioners and a rich history of profound teachers presenting Buddhist and Shambhala teachings.

The Executive Director (ED) oversees the staff and operations of the Center. Responsible for cultivating community well-being and engagement, the ED works to gain an understanding of the community’s range of concerns and ideas and finds effective ways to respond to them. Working cooperatively with the Governing Council and Community Council, the ED sets priorities, strategies, and policies of the Center.

This is a salaried position, with two weeks of vacation and three weeks of retreat time.
The term is three years with the opportunity for a second three-year term. The target start date is Shambhala Day, February 24, 2020.

Please send your statement of interest, resume, and three references by January 22, 2020, to the Executive Director Search Committee at: [email protected].

Below is the full job description and benefits:

The Boulder Shambhala Center seeks to hire a new Executive Director

The Boulder Shambhala Center is the largest city center in our global organization, with approximately 450 members and more than 4,000 friends who regularly gather to practice, study and celebrate. With a capable staff, Governing Council and many volunteers BSC is able to offer hundreds of educational programs, visiting teacher events, practice opportunities and celebrations every year.

General Duties

The Executive Director oversees the operations of the Boulder Shambhala Center and works cooperatively with the Staff, Governing Council and Community Council to set strategies, policies and priorities for the center and the local community.

Supported by staff, the Executive Director helps to ensure programming, fosters financial sustainability and creates space for exploring good human society in the vision of the Great Eastern Sun – a culture of goodness, wisdom, kindness and strength.

The Executive Director reports to the Shambhala Board of Directors. The term is three years with the opportunity for a second three-year term.

Principle Duties

  • The Executive Director is BSC’s primary spokesperson and is responsible for communicating BSC’s goals, status, needs and accomplishments to community members and friends, and to residents and officials from local government and the greater Front Range community.
  • Is responsible for cultivating community wellbeing and engagement. The ED works to gain an understanding of the community’s range of concerns and ideas and finds ways to respond to them.
  • The ED chairs the Governing Council and consults regularly with them to promote fact-based, inclusive participation on critical matters of governance. The ED is responsible for appointments to positions on the Council and, where necessary, in coordination with other offices.
  • Ensures that staff, Council and Practice and Education leaders are trained in and embody Shambhala’s code of conduct.
  • Encourages leaders’ and members’ increasing support of diversity and inclusivity initiatives for the purpose of creating a place of welcome, respect and kindness.
  • Actively supports the Director of Practice and Education to plan the calendar of practice and education events.
  • Works closely with the Chagdzö and the Finance Manager to ensure financial wellbeing through an annual budgeting process, monthly forecast updates and quarterly financial reviews while promoting fiscal clarity and transparency.
  • The ED leads an annual fundraising campaign and supports Shambhala Global Services as possible through monthly support.
  • Is responsible for defining organizational roles and responsibilities, and for hiring, training and negotiating compensation for BSC staff in accordance with budgetary considerations. The ED is also responsible for providing ongoing staff supervision and development.
  • Works with the Director of Operations to maintain and upgrade BSC’s building – Dorje Dzong – ensuring that the physical structure and sacredness of the environment is protected.
  • Works with the Rusung to support the safety and security of Dorje Dzong and to promote the presence of the Dorje Kasung at special events and through the practice of protector principle in the life of the center.
  • Participates in the Rocky Mountain Regional Directors Council. Participates in forums for sharing strategies and approaches with other Shambhala Center leaders.


Personal Qualities and Skills

The successful candidate will have the following qualities and skills:

  • A commitment to meditation practice
  • Listens deeply and respectfully to a wide range of perspectives
  • Accommodates a variety of energies and personalities
  • Familiarity with financial reports and financial management
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to bring out the strengths of staff and volunteers



The BSC Executive Director receives the following annual compensation:

–       Base salary of $43,000

–       Health insurance subsidy

–       Parsonage allowance

–       Free tuition at BSC and land center programs

–       Dental insurance

–       Two week paid vacation and three week paid retreat attendance

–       A downtown Boulder parking spot!

Selection Process

The BSC Director Search Committee will receive and review all applications. They will arrange interviews with the best-qualified candidates and invite participation from BSC’s staff and Governing and Community Council members. The Committee will identify their preferred candidate and refer this candidate to the Shambhala Board.

The successful candidate will aspire to the principles of Shambhala Warriorship, is a Vajrayana practitioner and a member of the Shambhala Community.