Pagbalha Geleg Namgyai is the 11th Qamdo Pagbalha Hutuktu of Tibetan Buddhism and a politician of the People's Republic of China. He is a Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and the Honorary President of the Buddhist Association of China. He also formerly served as a Vice Chairman of the National People's Congress, Vice Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China. As a Tibetan tulku, he is notable for his willingness to work in the Chinese government, except during the Cultural Revolution.
A tulku is a reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism who is given empowerments and trained from a young age by students of his or her predecessor.
Historically, the tulku system of preserving Dharma lineages operated in Tibet with the first being the Karmapas.
After the first Karmapa died in 1193, a lama had recurrent visions of a particular child as his rebirth.
This child (born ca. 1205) was recognized as .