Professor Skilling is a Buddhist scholar, historian, researcher, translator, poet, and lecturer on a wide range of subjects, from history and philosophy to Buddhist art, archaeology, epigraphy, and related areas. At present he is a researcher with the French School of Asian Studies, based in Bangkok. His fields of research include the early history of Mahayana Buddhism, the history of Pali in Southeast Asia, the history of the Buddhist orders of nuns, and the archaeology and literature of South and Southeast Asia. His research is conducted in numerous languages, including English, French, Tibetan, Pali, Sanskrit, and Thai. He is president of the Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation, a nonsectarian organization that supports the preservation and study of the Buddhist literature of Southeast Asia. The Foundation preserves a large collection of palm-leaf manuscripts in Pali and Southeast Asian languages.
Professor Skilling has served as an adviser to Khyentse Foundation since 2007 and has provided wise guidance in the Foundation’s growth, especially in the development of ideas relating to academia, scholarship, and translation projects. He has initiated many successful KF projects, including the KF Award for Excellence in Buddhist Studies, the KF Outstanding Translation Award, and the KF Best Dissertation Award, now in the formative stage.
Some of Prof. Skilling’s publications include Mahasutras: the Great Discourses of the Buddha, Wat Si Chum, and How Theravada is Theravada?