Maitripa College, founded in 2005 as Maitripa Institute, is a Tibetan Buddhist college located in Portland, Oregon. It is an affiliated member of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international network of Gelugpa dharma centers.
The first Tibetan Buddhist lama to have American students was Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, a Kalmyk-Mongolian of the Gelug lineage, who came to the United States in 1955 and founded the "Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America" in New Jersey in 1958.
Among his students were the future western scholars Robert Thurman, Jeffrey Hopkins, Alexander Berzin and Anne C. Klein.
Other early arrivals included Dezhung Rinpoche, a Sakya lama who settled in Seattle, in 1960, and Tarthang .
Buddhist monasticism is an important part of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, all the major and minor schools maintain large monastic institutions based on the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya (monastic rule) and many religious leaders come from the monastic community.
That being said, there are also many religious leaders or teachers (called Lamas and Gurus) which are not celibate monastics.
This list contains some of the most well known Tibetan Buddhist organizations around the .
The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) was founded in 1975 by Lamas Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, who began teaching Buddhism to Western students in Nepal.
The FPMT has grown to encompass over 160 Dharma centers, projects, and services in 37 countries.
Since the death of Lama Yeshe in 1984, the FPMT's spiritual director has been Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
FPMT maintains a number of charitable projects, including funds to build .