Elizabeth Napper

Co-Director, Tibetan Nuns Project

Secretary-Treasurer and Member, Board of Directors, UMA Institute

P. Jeffrey Hopkins

About Elizabeth Napper

Elizabeth Napper is Co-Director of the Tibetan Nuns Project, a post she has held for twenty-five years, working to develop opportunities within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for nuns to receive access to the full education of their various traditions. The first group of twenty nuns to complete the studies and take the required tests for the Geshe degree received that degree in December 2016.


Napper received a B.A. from University of Wisconsin in Indian Studies and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Tibetan Buddhist Studies from the University of Virginia, where she also taught for two years as a lecturer. She taught at Stanford University and at the University of Hawaii.


Her published works include Dependent-Arising and Emptiness and Mind in Tibetan Buddhism. She was co-editor of Kindness, Clarity, and Insight by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and co-author of Fluent Tibetan: A Proficiency Oriented Learning System, Novice and Intermediate Levels (4 volumes). In 2003 she was a recipient of the “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” award given by Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, and received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant and Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.


Curriculum Vitae available for download here.