Naropa University's lineage holder is the Sakyong Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, the eldest son of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the university's founder. Sakyong literally means "earth-protector."
The Sakyong speaks annually to the Naropa University community and has also taught classes through Naropa University Extended Studies.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche was born in 1962 in Bodhagaya, India, to Lady Könchok Palden. He spent his early years receiving a Buddhist education, later joining his father in the West, where he continued his study of Buddhist philosophy and ritual. He has studied with the great masters His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche—teacher of the Dalai Lama and the king of Bhutan—and Penor Rinpoche.
The Sakyong is married to Princess Tseyang Palmo, daughter of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, head of the Ripa lineage. He has written two books, the national bestseller Turning the Mind into An Ally and Ruling Your World.
In addition, the Sakyong is a poet and an artist. He is also an accomplished marathon runner, and does so to raise money for Tibet. He travels extensively, teaching throughout the world, and is head of Shambhala International.