Board of Directors

Geshe Michael Roach, Spiritual Director

Geshe Michael Roach is the founder and spiritual director of Diamond Mountain. He was born in Los Angeles in 1952 and was raised in Phoenix, AZ. As a student at Princeton University he concentrated his studies in religion and ancient Sanskrit and Russian language. He met his teacher Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin in 1972 in the U.S. and studied very closely with him after that time. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1983 and is entirely fluent in the spoken and written Tibetan language. After approximately 20 years of daily intensive study with Khen Rinpoche in New Jersey and at Sera Mey monastery in Southern India, Geshe Michael received the Geshe degree in 1995 (akin to a Doctorate of Divinity). He has also studied extensively at Sera Mey with Geshe Thubten Rinchen, one of the great living scripture teachers.

Geshe Michael Roach

Rob Ruisinger, President

Rob served as Creative Director with a marketing group that helped take a high-tech start-up from $300,000 a month to $4,000,000 a month in under two years. For the next 20 years, he worked in philanthropy helping a wide variety of non-profit organizations conceive, write and design marketing, fundraising and educational materials. He has worked closely with Geshe Michael and Lama Christie to design several books: King of the Dharma: The Illustrated Life of Je Tsongkapa, Teacher of the First Dalai Lama; The Tibetan Book of Meditation; and Two as One: A Journey to Yoga. He did the prototype illustrations for Karmic Management. A long-time spiritual practitioner, Rob has completed the advanced Buddhist studies program at Diamond Mountain University along with multiple 30-day and shorter retreats, both solitary and group. He lives at Diamond Mountain where he serves as director, financial manager, and caretaker.

Venerable Jigme Palmo, Vice President

Ven Jigme Palmo has been a Buddhist nun for 18 years, and has been a student of Geshe Michael since he started teaching ACI courses. She taught middle way philosophy at Diamond Mountain University, and has been director of Diamond Mountain Retreat Center since it started in 1999. One of her hobbies is recording teachings and putting them on the various websites. She also likes animals and plants, but realistically spends most of her time in front of a computer. She tends to be busy, but isn't fierce, so you can usually approach without fear.

Jigme Palmo

Charae Sachanandani


Scott Vacek, Secretary

Scott Vacek grew up in the Chicago suburbs and knew at an early age that he wanted to work in television. He went to work in his first studio in Chicago in 1980 and later moved to Detroit from where he did extensive newsgathering work for ABC News and CNN. After almost 30 years in the business his long-time boss encouraged him to follow his heart and leave to study full-time at Diamond Mountain. In 2007 he moved to Tucson and immediately begin traveling with Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally to help organize worldwide tour events. While working on an event in Tel Aviv in 2008, he met his wife Orit, and they were married at Diamond Mountain in December of 2010. They now live on the land, serving as full-time volunteer caretakers for the great retreat. Orit is a registered nurse and serves as medical coordinator for all retreatants. Scott serves in many capacities including event producer, fundraiser, publicist, carpenter and delivery Diamond Mountain you do whatever it takes. They both feel deeply blessed and fortunate to have been in a place in life to allow them to make the three-year commitment to serve the retreat as's the best job in the world.



Nicole Davis, Operations Manager

I came to Diamond Mountain in 2006 to help create a place that exists for no other purpose than to help people realize the highest spiritual goals. I first served as Volunteer Coordinator, and helped design and build many of the retreat cabins that are now being used for 3-Year Retreat. Currently I serve as Operations Manager, a constant chance for gaining practical skills on the spot, and for helping provide a physical place where the Buddhist teachings that have helped me so much in my life can continue to thrive. My husband Brian and I built a straw bale house at Diamond Mountain where we hope to continue to serve for many years to come.

I was fortunate at a very young age, after the unexpected death of my Dad who was very close to me, to recognize that all of my adventures and accomplishments were not in and of themselves an effective way to make the world a better place and consequently lead a happy life. One of the basic ideas of Buddhism is that the way to pursue happiness and fulfillment is to help provide that for others. That’s an opportunity Diamond Mountain gives me every day.

Nicole Davis