Leadership training in action: From apprentice to executive committee and board member in a few short years.
We are very fortunate to have Wyatt Arnold as part of the KF team. Several years ago, Rinpoche selected Wyatt to serve on the Junior Executive Committee, a pilot project that trains future leaders by learning from the professionals who volunteer in various foundation roles. He quickly excelled and began taking on greater responsibilities. He is on a number of committees and spearheaded the impact measurement initiative. In 2015, Rinpoche appointed him to the Executive Committee. He is also the youngest member of the KF Board of Directors.
Wyatt studied under Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche from a very young age. In 2006 he moved to India to continue studying under Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. In India for 6 years, he studied philosophy and Tibetan language with Dzongsar khenpos as well as at the Sarah Tibetan College near Dharamsala. In 2012, Wyatt and his wife Elise De Grande moved to California, where he is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Before joining the KF Executive Committee, he served as an executive apprentice for 3 years.
In Wyatt’s Own Words:
Of all the things I am thankful for in my life, being a part of Khyentse Foundation is very high up there. Working for KF has given me a chance to practice generosity, the internal effect of which has been to open my eyes to the incredible knowledge, skills, and vision of Buddhist traditions and communities around the world. I joined KF’s volunteer base at a very young age without any prior experience in business or nonprofit. As an Executive Committee apprentice, I could watch the inner workings of the foundation—the leadership roles and the operational maneuvers—without having to jump in immaturely. Becoming an executive committee member would be unthinkable without those prior years of acclimation, and so I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to train within the foundation itself.
The most rewarding aspect of working in KF is translating the organization’s vast vision into actionable programs – in other words, the targeting of who to support, and how to support them. It has been amazing to watch and participate in this process with the Executive Committee over the past year. We see definite outcomes from grants to new and continuing institutions like TBRC, UC Berkeley, the Scholarships Program, and many others. It’s really quite astonishing to witness the early seeding of people and organizations that will preserve, protect, and spread the Buddhist teachings in the years to come.