BA, Brandeis University; Master Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University
Marty Janowitz has been affiliated with Naropa since its inception in 1974 when he was invited by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, to serve as its first chief administrative officer (then titled executive director). He was a founding member of the Board of Trustees and served as chair from 2000–2011 and as Interim Chair in 2020.
Marty’s describes his life as an ‘interwoven braid’, whose consistent threads are parent and husband; engaged Buddhist student and later teacher; environmental and sustainability activist and consultant; leadership coach; and serial mission focused entrepreneur all towards being the most whole, aware, and engaged human possible.
Marty is a senior teacher within Trungpa Rinpoche’s lineage, serving in leadership of his personal aides and as a member of the boards of Vajradhatu, Nalanda Foundation and Shambhala International. In 1986 he and his family immigrated to Nova Scotia with Rinpoche in commitment to the vision of cultivating transformative ‘enlightened societies’. After Trungpa’s death this commitment soon centered on environmental protection and social transformation in numerous volunteer, non-profit and entrepreneurial initiatives. Over decades this evolved to focus on emerging models of integrated sustainability and integrated Buddhist and interfaith action on climate change.
In 1998 Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Trungpa’s spiritual heir, appointed him Warrior General, responsible for advancing Shambhala’s worldwide commitment to emergent enlightened societies. In 2012 he was ordained an Acharya, an empowered lineage teacher. Over time he served as executive director of The Clean Nova Scotia Foundation, a director of the Nova Scotia Environmental Network, chair of the Authentic Leadership in Action Institute, president of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and Chair of the Nova Scotia Round Table on Environment and Sustainable Prosperity, the Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory Board (at the Harvard Graduate School of Design), and Board of the International Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. His business career included pioneering environmental consulting practices and ultimately as Vice President of He is Vice President of Sustainable Development for Stantec, a leading global provider of environmental, engineering, design, and planning services.
In 2015 Marty and Susanna moved part-time, then fulltime, to the Mexican pueblo of Ajijic – where he continues to teach and engage in local, Mexican, and global Buddhist initiatives.