Tashi Zangmo Named to BBC 100 Women of 2018

Tashi Zangmo (Ed.D. 2009) was honored as one of the women on the BBC’s 2018 list of 100 influential and inspirational women around the world.  The 2018 list celebrates the accomplishments of women from more than 60 countries who are using passion, indignation and anger to spark real change in the world around them.


Tashi, who was born and raised in one of the most remote and rural areas of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, is the founder and Executive Director of the Bhutan Nuns Foundation (BNF).  In 2009, after finishing her doctorate with CIE, she returned to Bhutan and founded the BNF under the patronage of the Queen Mother of Bhutan.  The BNG is dedicated to improving the education and living conditions for Buddhist Nuns in Bhutan.


Upon hearing of the award, Tashi said:

I’m not sure what to feel at this moment, it’s been overwhelming, At first, I thought it was just a list of names and not a big deal until I started receiving a stream of congratulatory messages and calls from friends and family around the globe. It’s an honor and very humbling to be included among so many amazing women from around the world, especially those ordinary women who have achieved extraordinary things for the benefit of others.


Female lay practitioners face major obstacles in accessing opportunities for spiritual and practical education. The BNF has been working diligently to improve poor living conditions and develop conducive learning environments, ensuring that each nunnery maintains adequate, healthy living conditions, and provides a practical, hands-on training for the female monastic population. The foundation helps female monastics to create self-sufficient monastic communities that not only provide a healthy environment for Buddhist study, but also allow nuns to actively engage with and contribute to lay society.


During a visit to CIE in 2017 Tashi spoke to faculty and students. “The Bhutan Nuns Foundation is doing work similar to what the CIE is doing, except in a smaller way.” She spoke about starting small but with a bigger vision, “Community development is not about building sky scrapers but about reaching out to the community in a small way and making a difference. The ripple effect will manifest in different ways throughout the world anyways.”