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Dekila Chungyalpa, Director, Loka Initiative, Environmental Scientist
Dekila Chungyalpa is the director of a new and innovative education and outreach program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for faith leaders and religious institutions. Known as the Loka Initiative, its mission is to support faith-led environmental efforts locally and around the world through collaborations with faith leaders and religious institutions on environmental protection, sustainable development, and global health issues.
Prior to that, she was the recipient of the McCluskey fellowship at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and lectured and researched there. Dekila founded and directed Sacred Earth, an acclaimed faith-based conservation program at the World Wildlife Fund from 2009 to 2014. She was the WWF-US Director for the Greater Mekong Program for five years before that and also worked for WWF in the Eastern Himalayas for five years. Dekila serves as the environmental adviser for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.