Democracy in Exile: A Conversation with Penpa Tsering, the newly elected President of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile

June 16, 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am

about the event

The Tibetan exile community concluded its presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, 2021.  With 83,000 registered voters in 25 countries and a 77% voter turnout, the Tibetan diaspora voted for the Honorable Penpa Tsering as the new Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration. Receiving 54% of the votes, the new Sikyong was inaugurated on May 27, 2021, taking the political mantle from Dr. Lobsang Sangay, who had served two consecutive terms, marking the first transfer of power between Sikyongs since the Dalai Lama’s devolution of power in 2011.

In one of his first public U.S. interviews since taking office, President Tsering explored the complexities of Sino-Tibetan relations. Two areas on which he promises immediate action are efforts to revive the Sino-Tibetan dialogue, and strengthen international outreach and advocacy. The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin discussed these and other issues with President Tsering, including his political vision, the challenges facing Tibet’s new leadership, and the future of the Tibetan democracy movement.

About the Speakers

Penpa Tsering is the newly elected Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration. He earned his B.A.  from Madras Christian College and was a member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile for four consecutive terms – serving as Speaker for two of those terms. President Tsering also served as the Executive Director of the Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre (TPPRC) and Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Office of Tibet in Washington, DC.

Josh Rogin is a Washington Post foreign policy columnist and CNN political analyst. He has reported for The Daily Beast, Bloomberg View, Foreign Policy, Congressional Quarterly and is the author of the book Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the 21st Century.

Carl Gershman is president of the National Endowment for Democracy. Gershman has led NED since its operations began in 1984 and has overseen the development and growth of NED’s global grantmaking program as well as NED’s other related endeavors, including the International Forum for Democratic Studies, the Journal of Democracy, the Center for International Media Assistance, and the World Movement for Democracy.