Derek Kolleeny

Westchester Buddhist Center Founding Board Member and Teacher

Derek began the practice and study of Buddhism in 1976 and soon became a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, attending his first of many Naropa Institute summer sessions in 1977. He earned a B.A. from Harvard College in the Comparative Study of World Religions, focused on Buddhism, including study of Sanskrit and Tibetan languages. During a year off from college, Derek was the assistant coordinator of the six-month US tour of HH the XVIth GyalwaKarmapa in 1980 and attended the Vajradhatu Seminary and the Kalapa Assembly in 1981 at Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada.

In 1982, he joined the Nalanda Translation Committee. He worked at Vajradhatu from 1982 through 1986 in the Department of External Affairs, coordinating the hosting of visiting teachers such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, and as Buddhist News Editor for the Vajradhatu Sun and as Coordinator of US Committee for the International Lumbini Development Project.

In 1987 he moved to NYC and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1989. Since then, he has served as CFO for various companies and not-for-profit organizations for almost 25 years. In 1999 he helped found The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (, which is dedicated to preserving Tibetan Buddhist literature, and has created a massive archive and database to access this treasury, making it available worldwide through the Internet. He served as the Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors for 17 years.

In 2001, Derek became the Head of Practice and Study of the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York, and created and directed the Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies for many years. In 2004 he started Rime Shedra NYC (, an advanced Buddhist studies program, which he continues to direct and teach.


Rime Shedra NYC-Advanced Buddhist Studies Program (

The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center –