Who we are

Our Board of Directors

Mamphela Ramphele - Chair

Mamphela is Co-Founder of ReimagineSA, the Chair of the Tutu IPTRUST, and Co-President of the Club of Rome. She is a medical doctor, social anthropologist, and was formerly Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town and a managing director at the World Bank.

Rick Hanson, President and Founder

Rick is a psychologist, Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and a New York Times best-selling author. With his son Forrest he produces the Being Well podcast which is downloaded several million times a year and he has lectured at NASA, Google, Oxford, and Harvard.

Lynne Reeder - Secretary

Lynne is an Adjunct Research Fellow at Federation University Australia. She is Founder of the Mindful Futures Network, the National Lead of the Australian Compassion Council, and the global coordinator of the Science and Research sector of the Charter for Compassion.

James Kirby - Treasurer

James is Co-Director of the Compassionate Mind Research Group at the University of Queensland. He specialises in studying the effectiveness of Compassion Focused Therapy and the decision-making that underpins compassionate actions. He also works as a clinical psychologist in private practice.

Jaskaran Basran

Jaskaran is Foundation Manager and Research Coordinator at the Compassionate Mind Foundation (UK) and an associate professor at the University of Derby. She is currently completing a PhD on the use of compassion focused therapy for individuals with narcissistic traits.

Michael Yellow Bird

Michael Yellow Bird, MSW, PhD, is Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba. He is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation in North Dakota, USA. His research focuses on decolonization, neurodecolonization, Indigenous mindfulness and contemplative practices, and the cultural significance of Rez dogs.

Gonzalo Brito

Gonzalo is a clinical psychologist and Ph.D. holder in psychology, interested in the integration of meditation and psychology. He is a compassion-focused therapist and trainer and also a teacher trainer of the Compassion Cultivation Training and Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance programs. He has authored several articles and books on these topics and teaches widely in Latin America and Europe

Kristina Cavit

Kristina is Founder and Director of The Kindness Institute. She has spent the past 10+ years working with marginalized communities facing stress and trauma in New Zealand and around the world.

James Doty

James is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. He is author of the widely popular self-help book “Into the Magic Shop” and senior editor of the Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science.

Elissa Epel

Elissa is an American health psychologist. She is director of UCSF’s Aging, Metabolism, and Emotion Center, head of The UC wide Mental Health Council for climate change, and former co-chair of the Steering Council for Mind and Life Institute.

Paul Gilbert

Paul is professor of clinical psychology at the University of Derby and visiting professor at the university of Queensland. He has studied evolutionary approaches to mental health problems and compassion for over 30 years and is the founder of the Compassionate Mind Foundation. He was awarded on OBE for his services to mental health.

Cheng Yi Heng

Yi Heng is a senior consultant to international financial institutions in clean coal technology and hydrogen production, as well as carbon neutrality strategy. He is also Asia Deputy Director of the International Ecological Development Union (EDUI) and a fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Science. Yi Heng is a practitioner of Information Healing.

Dr Johnny Hon

Johnny is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of the Global Group of Companies. He holds a PhD in Psychiatry from the University of Cambridge and a Master of Buddhist Studies from the University of Hong Kong and is applying his studies to Buddhist Counselling in psychotherapy to help people with mental health issues.

Reggie Hubbard

Reggie is an internationally recognized yoga and meditation teacher and the founder/chief serving officer of Active Peace Yoga.

Crystal Lim-Lange

Crystal is an expert on human capital, education and the future of work. She travels around the world, advising companies, government bodies and educational institutions on preparing their talent for a future of rapid change. She is the founder of Forest Wolf.

Marcela Matos

Marcela is Clinical Psychologist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. She has written over 80 international peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the topics of compassion, shame, self-criticism, emotional regulation, psychopathology and well-being.


Jennifer Nadel

Jennifer is a qualified barrister, author, political strategist, speaker, activist and award winning TV journalist. Her Sunday Times Bestseller, WE, is a guide for individual and societal change. She’s run for the UK Parliament twice and co-founded the thinktank, Compassion in Politics.

Lobsang Tenzin Negi

Lobsang is co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics at Emory University. He is also a Professor of Pedagogy in Emory University’s Department of Religion and the founder and spiritual director of Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta, GA.

Nicola Petrocchi

Nicola is a professor of Psychology at John Cabot University and a CFT therapist and trainer based in Rome. They are the author of several national and international peer review publications and book chapters on compassion, compassion-focused therapy, and the physiological correlates of prosocial motivations. They are also the founder of Compassionate Mind Italia which is linked to the Compassionate Mind Foundation in the UK.

Lilli Ross

Lilli is a writer, mindfulness teacher, classical singer, and movement practitioner. She attended the University of Virginia and Columbia University and has studied the work of developmental psychologists and social scientists. Assisting others to prevent and heal trauma is her life mission.

Tania Singer

Tania is a professor for psychology and social neuroscience and scientific head of the Max Planck Society’s Social Neuroscience Lab in Berlin. She is principal investigator of the ReSource project, one of the largest longitudinal studies on the effects of mental training on compassion, prosociality, mental health and brain plasticity.

Ha Vinh Tho

Ha Vinh Tho, founder of Eurasia Foundation and Learning Institute, is a Buddhist Dharma teacher in the Vietnamese Zen tradition. He co-founded and directed the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan and was previously the head of training at the ICRC. Doctorate in Psychology and Education, he is an international lecturer and author.

Marilyn Turkovich

Marilyn is Director of the Charter for Compassion. Her background lies in education and she previously directed teacher training programs for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest and was chair of Columbia College-Chicago’s Masters program in multicultural and global education.

Our Team

Victoria Armstrong - Engagement Manager

Victoria is a graduate from Durham University with a BA in Geography, and experience in strategy consulting and finance. While at university, she co-founded Global Crisis Watch, a student-led think tank producing consulting-style reports on global crises.

Rachael Ebanks-Gold - Events & Administration Manager

Rachael is a certified meditation and mindfulness teacher with a degree in Nutrition & Dietetics from King's College London. A long-term meditator and student of Buddhism, she is committed to positively impacting the world through facilitating personal practice for inner transformation and outer action.


Matt Hawkins - Chief Operations Officer

Matt Co-Founded Compassion in Politics UK and Co-Edited the book How Compassion Can Transform Our Politics, Economics, and Society. He was part of the Nobel-prize winning team at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and successfully led the campaign for mixed-sex civil partnerships in Britain.

Maria Paula Jimenez Palacio - Head of Training and Compassion Corps

Maria Paula is a Colombian contemplative trainer and compassion coach. She is a Senior Teacher and Teacher Trainer of the Compassion Cultivation Program developed at the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. She is also a certified teacher and teacher trainer of the Mindfulness Based Emotional Balance Program developed by Margaret Cullen and she is a trained teacher of the Mindful Self-Compassion program developed by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff. She is trained as a therapist, and she is also a lecturer, organizational consultant and advisor to groups and individuals on topics related to well-being/ whole-being, change, contemplative practices, mindfulness, compassion, self-compassion and purpose.

Michelle Keane - Comptroller

Michelle is an online strategy and content consultant. She specializes in web development, eLearning, content and social media marketing and strategy. Originally from Ireland she now lives in North America.

Erin Romine - Social Media Manager

Erin is a digital marketing professional from San Diego, California. Erin graduated from San Francisco State University with her BA in Communication Strategies and represented her alma mater at the first Bay Area Communication Research Conference to present her original research study on how we use conversational strategies to convey relational closeness. When she isn’t behind her computer, you can find her soaking up the sunshine.

Alex Wilks - Head of Digital

Alex has extensive experience as a digital campaign strategist and manager. He was previously Digital Manager for the European Movement and Head of Digital Campaigns for the People's Vote movement in the UK. He has also been a digital advisor to Compassion in Politics UK.

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