Karma Ura



President, Centre of Bhutan & GNH Studies


Karma has been the President of the Centre for Bhutan & GNH Studies (CBS) since 2008. The CBS has been at the forefront in promoting and deepening national and global understanding of Bhutan’s home-grown development philosophy of Gross National Happiness and conducting multidisciplinary research about Bhutan. He was a member of the Drafting Committee of Bhutan’s first Constitution, enacted in July 2008, and was awarded the red scarf and the ancient title of distinction, Dasho, by His Majesty the Fourth King in December 2006, for his dedicated service to the country. Karma has written several books such as Bhutan, the Unremembered Nation (Vol. 1 & 2) Faith and Festival of Nimalung; Deities and Archers; The Hero with a Thousand Eyes; Ballad of Pemi Tshewang Tashi; and Leadership of the Wise: Kings of Bhutan, and contributed articles to numerous books. Karma is a member of several working groups. He has been a painter, with works displayed in a national monument (Dochula temple) and a piece in the British Museum. He has been a visiting fellow in various universities including Oxford.

At THE NEW INSTITUTE, Karma is involved in the program “Conceptions of Human Flourishing — Reformulating the SDGs”.

  • What gives you hope?
    Inspired action out of other-concerned loving-kindness.

  • How does change happen?
    When people want better life and death, and a future they leave.

  • If you could have a conversation with one person (dead or alive) who would it be?
    A Buddha.


Bhutan, the Unremembered Nation, Vol. 1 Livelihood and Communities. Oxford University Press, 2023.

Bhutan, the Unremembered Nation, Vol. 2 Art and Ideals. Oxford University Press, 2023.

GNH 2022. Thimphu: The Centre for Bhutan & GNH Studies, 2023

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