DIRECTORS AND TEACHERS
Board of Directors
Founding President—B. Alan Wallace
Co-founder, Vice President, and Secretary—Eva Natanya
Non-executive Director—Navin Amarasuriya
Director of Finance—Craig Neyman
Director of Development—Kimberly Ferrari
Executive Director and Board Observer—Courtney Johnson
B. Alan Wallace, PhD
Founder, President, and Director of Contemplative Training
One of the world’s leading scholars, writers, and teachers of Tibetan Buddhism and its relation to science, Dr. Wallace was ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and devoted fourteen years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk.
He earned an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford University. He is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and the Centers for Contemplative Research.
Dr. Wallace has become an outspoken advocate for a revolution in the mind sciences, one that will replace the current paradigm of materialist reductionism with a new paradigm in which objective research is augmented and completed by rigorous first-person, contemplative methods of inquiry into the nature and potentials of the mind.
Eva Natanya, PhD
Co-founder and Resident Teacher, CCR North America
A scholar of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, Christian theology, and comparative religion, Dr. Natanya has served in many capacities as a spiritual teacher, academic lecturer, translator and editor of Tibetan texts, scholarly writer, and retreat leader.
Following a nine-year career as a professional ballet dancer with both the New York City Ballet and the Royal Ballet of England, she earned an MA in Christian Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. She has worked closely with Dr. B. Alan Wallace on his translations for several books, including Open Mind and Fathoming the Mind, and has co-taught meditation retreats with Dr. Wallace around the world.
In a Christian context, Eva co-authored Living Resurrected Lives: What It Means and Why It Matters with Veronica Mary Rolf. She has spent more than three years in solitary meditation retreat, and remains in residence at Miyo Samten Ling, guiding fellow retreatants in the details of contemplative training.
Courtney joined CCR North America as Executive Director in 2022. Prior to entering this role, Courtney oversaw many of the business and growth activities at Enigma Technologies, a high-growth data technology startup in New York City that builds data linking and predictive analytics algorithms. As an early business hire and executive at the company, Courtney over many years built or managed various functions, including business development and sales, client management, strategy, marketing, and investor relations. She loves helping growing organizations sustain the most nourishing possible culture while identifying the right growth mechanisms to serve their ambitions and values. Prior to Enigma, Courtney worked in strategy and market research consulting for video game and other tech and media companies.
More a “poet” than a “quant” at heart, Courtney started her career in book publishing and has always continued to work as a freelance editor and writer on the side, in order to continue to engage with her first love: the written word. She earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and English at Columbia University in New York, and later an MBA at Stanford University in California. A longtime practitioner of meditation and yoga, Courtney exited her career in business to follow her heart’s wish to devote herself to deeper study and practice of Buddhism, and now to the inspiring work spearheaded by the CCR.
Scott is currently the Global Head of Structured Finance and Corporate Development at Bloom Energy, a publicly-listed clean energy company. He serves on the Board of Directors of the CCR. Bloom’s mission — “to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world” — has been a passionate calling since Scott joined Bloom in 2004. Since then, he has raised billions of dollars to support the deployment of clean energy infrastructure projects, and is currently focused on financing next-generation innovations like hydrogen and carbon capture that the world urgently needs to meet its climate goals. He is similarly passionate about the CCR’s novel, deeply innovative mission, and sees the current lack of understanding of the true causes of well-being as a fundamental cause of global degradation.
Prior to joining Bloom, Scott held roles with GE Solar, and began his career as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in New York. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife.
As Chief Operating Officer of the Contentment Foundation, Navin Amarasuriya seeks to bring scientifically evidenced practices of wellbeing to schools around the world. He oversees the growth of the Four Pillars of Wellbeing curriculum across Bhutan, India, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Netherlands. This includes the cross cultural adaptation of the curriculum, cultivating strategic partnerships and developing new sources of funding to serve educators and students.
He earned his BSc in Business Management from the University of Manchester, U.K. and has Diploma in Animation from Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore. An engineer at heart, he has constantly been inspired by the quantified discoveries of wellbeing practices through the lens of science as well as the subjective experiences found in contemplative practice.
He is a non-executive director of the EtonHouse Community Fund, which seeks to create pathways for vulnerable children to discover their unique gifts to the world, and is part of the fifth-generation ownership at the B.P. de Silva Group, established in Singapore in 1872.
Director of Finance
Craig joined the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in 2011 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In support of the Foundation’s goals to build just societies and a sustainable planet, he oversees finance, accounting, information technology, grants processes, facilities, and workplace services. Formerly, he served as Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for The Nature Conservancy, where he oversaw the investment portfolio, which primarily consisted of the Conservancy’s endowment for conservation lands, capital for conservation projects as well as planned giving investments. Prior to his stint as CIO, Craig served as Chief Financial Officer for the Marguerite Casey Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting the aspirations of working people and their families. Craig is a graduate of Wharton Business School as well as the University of Oregon. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and was admitted to the Oregon State Bar.
Craig is a committed practitioner of Buddhism, and compelled by its purpose, mission, and vision, it is a fulfillment of his heart’s desire to be of service to CCR.
Director of Development
Kim is an artist and meditator. In her 30-year professional career as creative executive at global brand firms, she led the design of broadcast, social and immersive media experiences to reach and move target audiences for brands like Herman Miller, BMW and HBO.
Since her retirement, she has focused on helping Buddhist organizations engage with their most important stakeholders. She has consulted on brand positioning and communications strategies that seek to strike a balance between traditional Buddhist messaging and contemporary media platforms to achieve optimal outcomes. She has held board positions at ACLU and The Rubin Museum of Art, leading fundraising and development efforts.
Kim earned a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in painting and art history. She has studied organizational development and industrial psychology at the University of West Georgia, and earned certification in “Six Thinking Hats” strategic planning from The Center for Creative Leadership.
Kim has been studying and practicing Buddhism for nearly 40 years in the Gelugpa and Dzogchen traditions. She has engaged in a formal practice of observation of the natural world, integrating figurative painting into daily meditation practice.
Nicholas J. Matiasz
Scientific Program Director,
CCR North America
Nick serves as the Scientific Program Director for CCR North America, where he has volunteered since July 2020. He is currently an Electrical Engineering Associate in Strategic Initiatives at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where he supports efforts related to renewable energy. He worked as part of a team that supported the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100), a landmark study that identified pathways for achieving 100% renewable energy in Los Angeles.
Nick received his Ph.D. in medical informatics from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied causal reasoning in neuroscience. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Tufts University, where he performed interdisciplinary research in psychology and computer science. He has also worked in the Department of Neurology Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife.
Director of Web & Creative
Julie has spent her career helping a wide variety of companies and nonprofit organizations grow their businesses through traditional and digital marketing mechanisms and technologies. Previously, as co-owner and Vice President of IMC, a marketing communications agency, Julie developed and executed comprehensive strategic and creative brand and marketing materials for Fortune 100 Companies including Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Colgate-Palmolive, and Rubbermaid.
Transitioning to being a mostly full-time mom, Julie sold her part of the advertising agency to her partner and gradually built up her own communications agency as time permitted. Over 25 years, she steadily grew the agency to provide broad marketing services, including website design/build and content development, social media marketing, email marketing, and public relations. She especially loves helping new businesses find their footing and grow.
Recently retired, Julie devotes her time to her Buddhist practice and to supporting CCR with her marketing, website, and design expertise.
Resident Teacher, CCR North America (Miyo Samten Ling)
An award-winning journalist, author, carpenter, professional mountain guide, and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, Doug Veenhof has traveled widely for decades, teaching and leading retreats on contemplative technology and insight (shamatha and vipashyana). He is the author of White Lama: The Life of Tantric Yogi Theos Bernard, Tibet’s Lost Emissary to the New World. Drawing on more than 30 years of dedicated study and practice in the Gelugpa and Dzogchen traditions of Buddhism, he now offers guidance to meditators as a resident teacher at Miyo Samten Ling, while maintaining his own intensive schedule of solitary meditation retreat.
Assistant Scientific Program Director, CCR International
As Regional Coordinator for CCR Asia Pacific and Assistant Scientific Program Director for CCR internationally, Scott loves working at the interface of science and society. Using his skills from a decade working in international research dissemination, he supports and coordinates the various projects that make up CCR Asia Pacific. A firm believer in the transformative power of free and open access to peer reviewed research, he sees the marriage of CCR’s world-leading contemplative science with philosophy, physics, psychology and neuroscience and the sharing of those insights through education, health, economic and climate sustainability as the most effective means to transform and heal our world at scale.
CCR Teacher, CCR Asia Pacific (Jhampa Ling)
A teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, Glen has spent many years teaching and leading meditation retreats around the world with an emphasis on the integration of philosophical view, meditation and daily life conduct.
Following ten years of working in the IT industry he graduated from a seven year Masters Program in Buddhist Studies in Italy. He was then based for more than a decade at Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala, India and more recently has been assisting with the annual eight week Dzogchen retreats led by Dr. B. Alan Wallace.