Lobsang Sangay

Lobsang Sangay

Lobsang Sangay is the democratically-elected prime minister of the Central Tibetan Administration’s government-in-exile. An expert in Tibetan law and international human rights law, he was a senior fellow at the East Asian Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School. Sangay was a Fulbright Scholar and was the first Tibetan to earn a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Harvard Law School. In 2006, the Asia Society named Sangay one of its 24 Young Leaders of Asia.

Sangay was born and raised in a Tibetan refugee settlement in Darjeeling, India. His father was a Buddhist monk who fled Tibet in 1959, the same year as the Dalai Lama. After graduating from the University of Delhi, he received a Fulbright Scholarship in 1995. In 1996, he received a fellowship from the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, Switzerland, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Pacific Basin Research Center to study Tibetan human rights and law. In 2004, Sangay was the co-recipient of the Yong K. Kim Prize, awarded annually at Harvard Law School for the best student composition in an effort to further U.S. and East Asian understanding.

Sangay began his career in public service in 1988, as the vice-president of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress in Delhi. He also served as an executive member of the Central Executive of the Tibetan Youth Congress. In 2003, Sangay successfully organized an unprecedented series of conferences between Chinese and Tibetan scholars, including a meeting between the Dalai Lama and thirty-five Chinese scholars at Harvard University. In 2008, Sangay testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Asian and Pacific Affairs regarding the crisis in Tibet.

Sangay was elected as the new Sikyong, or prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, in 2011. An expert on Tibet, international human rights law, democratic constitutionalism, and conflict resolution, he has given lectures around the world and has been consulted by numerous media outlets.