The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is proud to announce the start of two annual initiatives aimed at empowering the next generation of Tibetan American leaders. The Tibetan Youth Leadership Program (TYLP) and the Washington Internship Program for Tibetan Americans (WIPTA) will provide participants with hands-on experience in advocacy and policymaking in the heart of the US political system.

Tibetan Youth Leadership Program

From June 1-8, eleven promising Tibetan American college students from across the United States will gather in Washington, DC, for the annual Tibetan Youth Leadership Program. This intensive program will expose students to the intricacies of the American political process and the crucial role of advocacy.

Participants will engage in:

  • Meetings with Influential Political Figures: Including Under Secretary Uzra Zeya, Ambassador Rashad Hussain, and congressional offices.
  • Discussions with Notable Leaders: Such as Kasur Tenzin Namgyal Tethong, Sophie Richardson, Kelley Currie, and Ellen Bork.
  • Visits to Key Institutions and Broadcasting Stations: Including the U.S. State Department, USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, Voice of America, and Radio Free Asia.
  • Workshops and Panels: Interactive sessions with ICT staff, Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, and Tibetan Americans in public service.

“The advocacy of the Tibetan American community is a big reason why Congress offers consistent, bipartisan support for the people of Tibet,” ICT President Tencho Gyatso said. “With the US government now more focused on the threat of China, this is a vital time to train our youth leaders to advance the cause of Tibet in the next generation.”

The 11 participants in the Tibetan Youth Leadership Program are:

  • Kalsang Dolma (Emory University School of Law)
  • Tenzin Samphell Tsering (University of New Mexico)
  • Mandarava Jamyangling-Kawaguchi (Stanford University)
  • Kunga Wilson (UC Berkeley)
  • Tenzin Yiga (Harvard College)
  • Tsering Jenny Palzom (Montclair State University)
  • Tenzin Jamyang (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo)
  • Tenzin Pema (Binghamton University)
  • Tenzin Lodoe (Shoreline Community College)
  • Tenzin Dawa Jungney (Berkeley City College)
  • Tenzin Dedhen (New York University)

Washington Internship Program for Tibetan Americans

In addition to the leadership program, ICT is excited to introduce the Washington Internship Program for Tibetan Americans. This initiative aims to provide Tibetan American college students with meaningful experience in the US political process through internships on Capitol Hill. WIPTA participants are referred to as Lodi Gyari Fellows in honor of Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari.

Lodi Gyari Fellows

This year’s Lodi Gyari Fellows, Tenzin Passang and Tenzin Menrinetsang, will begin their prestigious eight-to-ten week summer internships in congressional and NGO offices. These internships are part of ICT’s Lodi Gyari Tibetan Empowerment Program, named in honor of the late Lodi Gyari, ICT’s former executive chairman and president.

Tenzin Passang is interning in the office of Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN 4th District). Passang is a rising senior majoring in Sociology of Law, Crime and Justice at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Passang was ICT’s former Communications Intern and was a Recruiting and Outreach Officer at the Naval Science Department at the University of Minnesota. He is fluent in Tibetan, Hindi, Nepali, Urdu, and German.

Tenzin Menrinetsang will begin interning at the National Endowment for Democracy working on the Asia Programs. Menritsang is a rising junior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Asian Studies at the University of Michigan.

Menrinetsang is a News Staff Reporter at the Michigan Daily. She is fluent in Tibetan and Spanish.

About the Programs

Both programs are integral components of ICT’s Lodi Gyari Tibetan Empowerment Programs, which includes several initiatives aimed to uplift and support the Tibetan community. These programs are especially crucial as China’s repression in Tibet continues to intensify.

Thanks in part to advocacy by Tibetan Americans, the US government has responded to China’s rights violations in Tibet by passing last year’s Tibetan Policy and Support Act, which dramatically expands US support for Tibetans, including on the vital issue of the Dalai Lama’s succession.

The US also passed in 2018 the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which led the State Department to ban Chinese officials from entering the US over their refusal to allow American diplomats, journalists and ordinary citizens to visit Tibet.

Just recently, the Resolve Tibet Act unanimously passed the US Senate, and is headed to President Biden’s desk. These laws have expanded US support for Tibetans and increased pressure on China’s actions in Tibet.

About ICT

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is a nonprofit organization that promotes human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet. Through advocacy, education, and outreach, ICT works to safeguard the unique culture and identity of the Tibetan people.

For more information, please visit or contact [email protected].