Our Team

H.E. Dza Kilung Jigme Rinpoche, President, Board of Directors

As well as acting as the Foundation’s Board President from beginning, Kilung Rinpoche is also its Executive Director. Rinpoche manages Foundation business while in Tibet through the magic of cyberspace, which only recently came to the remote reaches of Dzachuka. Rinpoche plays multiple roles: managing Kilung Monastery, providing leadership for Kilung community, Buddhist teacher in Asia and the west, and important tulku and lineage holder of the Longchen Nyingtik. Rinpoche recently published The Relaxed Mind, a Seven-step Method for Deepening Meditation Practice.


Choying Pema, Kilung Foundation Tibet Projects Manager

Choying is a licensed medical doctor from China. She was the health advisor for an international NGO, leading child-centered community development programs in rural China. She has also provided volunteer work in Tibet to various organizations, including the Kilung Foundation.



Jeanne Lepisto, Vice-President & Treasurer, Board of Directors
Co-Director Pema Kilaya Sangha

Jeanne moved to Whidbey in 1980 and owns and administrates a successful In-Home Care Nursing Agency. As a nurse, with a background in oncology and home care she is especially interested in hospice care and providing support for the the dying person in the comfort of their own home surrounded by their loved ones. Jeanne’s Buddhist path began in 1994 and she has become particularly interested in and enjoys sharing dharma with others. She loves articulating her direct experience of meditation practice both on and off the cushion and enjoys listening to others discuss and share their understanding. Growing our understanding of Dharma together is a life long endeavor she looks forward to. Jeanne met Kilung Rinpoche in 1999 and has deep gratitude for the blessings of the lama and for the opportunity to serve. Together with Karen Carbone, Jeanne is also Co-Director of Pema Kilaya, Kilung Rinpoche’s sangha in the West.

Karen Carbone, Co-Director Pema Kilaya Sangha

Karen Carbone is a retired RN and Doctor of Natural Health. Her professional career spans 40 years of hospital nursing, hospital administration, operations management, and, most recently, naturopathic care. She has been involved in volunteer activities and service organizations since moving to Whidbey Island in 1996. Karen found the Vajrayana path and took refuge with Rinpoche in 2012. She resides on Whidbey with her husband Jim who is also a devoted dharma practitioner. Together with Jeanne Lepisto, Karen is the Co-Director of Pema Kilaya, Kilung Rinpoche’s sangha in the West.

Cary Peterson, Secretary, Board of Directors

After many years of interest in Buddhism and Tibet, Cary met Kilung Rinpoche in 2005, and became his student. She’s been a longtime sponsor of Tibetan families, whom she met on her pilgrimages to India, Nepal and Tibet. Cary is a community gardener deeply involved with sustainability education and service learning. She coordinates the South Whidbey School Farms Program.


Mully Mullally, Advisory Board

I have spent the last 40+ years of my life devoted to making the world a better place by working locally developing and sustaining early childhood and parenting programs. My joy is to facilitate positive experiences for young children and provide meaningful parent education. I became “introduced” to Buddhism in 1994, and have been studying with Kilung Rinpoche since 2005. I have had the good fortune of traveling to Tibet with Rinpoche, and the blessing of sponsoring Tibetan nuns and families in Northern India. I am honored to volunteer for the Kilung Foundation, and consider it a privilege to work closely with the team of practitioners that surrounds Rinpoche. I am happy to be a part of manifesting Rinpoche’s work in the West, and continuing to support his work with his community in Tibet. I am also devoted to my own family and loving community and sangha of South Whidbey Island.

Diane Berger (Rigdzin Chödron), Advisory Board

Diane co-founded the Kilung Foundation with Kilung Jigme Rinpoche in 1998 and went on to serve as its Managing Director for thirteen years. In 2011 she stepped down to pursue more concentrated Buddhist practice, but continues to advise the board. Diane has a degree in journalism and anthropology from The Evergreen State College.


Jame, Project Manager in Tibet

Jame is the brother of Kilung Rinpoche, and for over 14 years has been tirelessly offering his time as project manager for the Kilung Foundation’s projects in Dzachuka. Jame has been a community leader for many years, and is a skilled mediator.

Le Ming Yang (Pema Norbu), Photographer

Le Ming Yang has been traveling regularly to Dzachuka since 2005, fascinated by the people and environment, deeply moved by the spiritual life found there. Specializing in stunning landscapes, nature, and portraits, his photography assignments take him all over China. He has worked with Kilung Rinpoche on several photography projects, and donates his fine images to the Kilung Foundation, many of which are found on this website.

Gabe Marihugh, Web Master and Designer

Gabe began as Kilung Foundation’s webmaster in 2008. He has been a web designer and developer since 2001, specializing in custom design and development.



The Kilung Foundation deeply appreciates the many volunteers whose efforts have generously supported its work— past, present, and future.

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