Trustee, Elected 1986
BA, Luther College; Fulbright Scholar in Lucknow, India; Attended Columbia University
Judy Lief is a Buddhist teacher, writer and editor. She was a close student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who empowered her as a teacher, and was given the title of Acharya, or senior teacher, by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage. As well as traveling and teaching extensively, Lief is active in the field of death and dying, and is the author of Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality. She is a member of the Madison-Deane Initiative, a Vermont-based group dedicated to improving end-of-life care.
She has edited many books for Shambhala Publications and is the executive editor of Vajradhatu Publications in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition to being a trustee of Naropa, Lief has served Naropa as president (1980–85), as adjunct faculty, as Bali study-abroad program director and even as a janitor. She is active in the Global Peace Initiative of Women and is a member of the Contemplative Alliance, a group designed to bring a contemplative perspective to critical global problems. Her two daughters are both Naropa graduates. She loves to visit her two grandchildren, to dig in her garden and to play with her dog, Loki.