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Our Team

H.E. Dza Kilung Jigme Tandzin Chödrak, President, Board of Directors

Dza Kilung Rinpoche is the founder and board president of the Kilung Foundation. Rinpoche is an important tulku and lineage holder of the Longchen Nyingtik. He is the head lama of the Kilung Monastery, providing leadership for the Kilung community, and is a Buddhist teacher throughout the world. Rinpoche has published one book to date, 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 worked as a volunteer in Tibet with various organizations, including the Kilung Foundation.

Jeanne Lepisto, Vice-President & Treasurer, Board of Directors
Co-Director Kilung Foundation

Jeanne moved to Whidbey in 1980 and administrated an In-Home Care Nursing Agency for 30 years. She brought that experience to the Kilung Foundation and has been co-directing the organization for the last 15 years. Jeanne’s Buddhist path began in 1994. Growing our understanding of dharma together and sharing our direct experiences of meditation both on and off the cushion is one of her passions. Jeanne met Dza Kilung Rinpoche in 1999 and is deeply grateful for the blessings of this precious teacher and lineage holder.

Karen Carbone, Co-Director Kilung Foundation

Karen Carbone is a retired RN and Doctor of Natural Health. Karen has been a member of Pema Kilaya since 2012. She resides on Whidbey with her husband Jim who is also a devoted dharma practitioner. Karen is the Co-Director of Pema Kilaya and the Kilung Foundation, guiding volunteer teams and furthering Dza Kilung Rinpoche’s vision around the world.

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 has traveled extensively on pilgrimage in India, Nepal and Tibet. In addition to her dharma activities, she is a farmer with a focus on community food-security and education.


Kilung Foundation and Pema Kilaya rely on the dedication, skills and open-hearted energy of many volunteers around the world who manage the organization, fundraising, temple and land care, communications, dharma text publication, retreat coordination, and so much more. Every day brings boundless gratitude for their dharma service!

Many hands and hearts come together to support our work!