Founder and Spiritual Director: Roshi Bernie Glassman
Bernie Glassman is a world-renowned pioneer in the American Zen Movement and a leading creative figure in socially engaged Buddhism. He is the founder and co-spiritual director of the Zen Peacemakers. He has extended Dharma practice from the meditation hall to the arenas of social service, business, environmental stewardship and conflict resolution. He has been honored with numerous ethics, service and achievement awards.
Chairman and Secretary: Sensei Grant Couch
Grant Couch, sensei, worked for over 40 years in the financial services industry, with a focus on commercial and investment banking. Following his retirement as President and COO of Countrywide Capital Markets in 2008, Grant’s desire to contribute to other’s personal growth led him to take the position of CEO of Sounds True, a publisher of spiritual teachings where he served for two years. He was Chairman of Manhattan Bancorp and its subsidiary Bank of Manhattan from 2010 – 2015. His current focus is as the Co-Founder of the Conservative Caucus of Citizens Climate Lobby. Bernie recognized Grant as a successor on 4/30/2016.
In 1990 Grant began to explore various spiritual paths. After 4 years of religious and philosophical self-study he found a deep personal resonance in the Buddha’s teachings. Since then he has studied with many Tibetan, Zen and Vipassana teachers. And after attending a 2010 bearing witness retreat in Auschwitz he began working closely with Bernie Glassman and Zen Peacemakers’ three tenets.
Grant graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Lehigh University. In addition to serving as the Chairman of Zen Peacemakers; he is on the investment committee of Aravaipa Ventures, a Colorado-based, impact technology VC fund; and is a financial advisor to The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition.
Now retired, Grant is focused full time on finding a conservative solution to the challenging nexus of energy and the environment – aka climate change.
President and Treasurer: Sensei Chris Panos
Chris Panos, a Sensei in the Zen Peacemakers, is currently a founder and principal of Fundamental Investment Advisors. Over the past 25 years, he has founded several other successful businesses. Chris founded the Bay Area Peacemaker Circle, has been extensively involved with Tibetan refugees, and serves as Board President of Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco.