A lifelong Buddhist, Richard Reoch has devoted himself to peace, the defense of human rights and the protection of the environment. Born in Canada, he moved to England in 1971 to join the headquarters of Amnesty International. For much of his 23 years in the organization, he was the global media chief and appeared worldwide on TV, radio and in the press.
Reoch currently is the chair of the International Working Group on Sri Lanka, a network of diplomats and experts supporting the peace process in that war-torn island. He is the author of Combating Torture, the official field manual of the 55-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He recently served as a consultant on torture prevention with the Indian National Human Rights Commission. He is also an adviser to human rights groups on both sides of the border in Ireland.
In the early 1990s, Reoch was invited by the musician/activist Sting to help lead the Rainforest Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of the rainforests and their peoples. He continues to serve as a trustee of its U.K. foundation.
In 2002, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, head of the Shambhala Mandala, a worldwide contemplative community dedicated to the creation of Enlightened Society, appointed Reoch to the position of president. He currently heads the Mandala’s governing council. Trained in oriental medicine, and a teacher of Tai Chi and Chi Kung, Reoch is also the author of To Die Well: A Holistic Approach for the Dying and Their Caregivers.