New San Francisco Director Announced

Mr. Alexander Van Gils has been approved by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as the next Center Director for the San Francisco Shambhala Center. Alex will replace Mr. Cody McGough, who has served for the past three and a half years with great vision and dedication.

Alex has dynamic leadership skills and a deep devotion to the Shambhala Buddhist path. He was raised in a Shambhala Family by his parents Gerard and Shastri Gayle Van Gils in St. Petersburg, Florida. Brought up according to the view of young warriorship as taught by the Druk Sakyong, Alex is a member of the Dorje Kasung, and has attended Rites of Passage, Shambhala Sun Camp, Rites of Warriorship, and Vajrayana Seminary in 2011. This summer he will be attending the Rigden Abhisheka.

Alex Van Gils

A life long musician, Alex went to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is currently working on his PhD in Musical Composition from the University of California, Davis. You can hear some of Alex’s award winning compositions by visiting his website.

In 2012, in the wake of the Sakyong’s talk at Grace Cathedral, Alex founded the “Ziji Collective” an initiative to help create enlightened society through culture, community and social action. With his energetic leadership Ziji has become an important part of the Northern California Region, and has grown into an International organization that is cultivating young leaders throughout the Shambhala mandala. The Ziji Collective has hosted many wonderful events such as the “Spark. Radiate.” and “Activate” series, as well as young meditator evenings, salons, and socials.

Alex has served on the Governing Council in San Francisco this past year and will work for the next two months as Assistant to the Director, focusing on development and governance, until his formal appointment as Center Director in early June. The San Francisco Director also holds a seat on the Northern California Shambhala Regional Board, with shared responsibility for maintaining Sharchen Dzong, the Sakyong’s seat on the West Coast. The Director position in San Francisco is currently a half time position.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Mr. Van Gils as the incoming Director for the San Francisco Center.


3 thoughts on “New San Francisco Director Announced

  1. Congratulations San Francisco! I remember working with Alex when he was a teenager at SMC and he was such a delightful and inspired person. Looking forward to working with you again, Alex!

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