California is set to be home to the second center blessed by the Dalai Lama in the United States, slated to be overseen by a panel of esteemed Buddhist scholars and, um, Sen. Sam Blakeslee.
Blakeslee, a Republican state senator, has been pegged as an adviser for the Tibet House California. He will serve alongside four other advisers: Dr. Paul Ekman, professor of psychology out of UC San Francisco; the Rev. Dean Brian Baker; Tibetan Association of Northern California President Tenzin Tsedup Wangdu; and Telecommand Software and Services President CEO Ravi Verma.
“Tibet House California will be a cultural destination to preserve and promote Tibetan cultural knowledge for Tibetans who are living in exile,” Blakeslee’s office said in a news release. It will be the second Tibet House in the United States given the “go-ahead and blessing” of the Dalai Lama, according to the Tibet House California website.
When he was a California assemblyman, Blakeslee butted heads with the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco after he floated a non-binding resolution proclaiming Tibet Awareness Day in March 2009.