The Tibet Center, also known as Kunkhyab Thardo Ling, in New York City, is a center for the study of Tibetan Buddhism, a dharma center. The Tibet Center was founded by Venerable Khyongla Rato Rinpoche in 1975, and is currently directed by Khen Rinpoche, Nicholas Vreeland, who is the abbot of Rato Dratsang. The primary teachers at The Tibet Center are Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, Geshe Nicholas Vreeland, and Anthony Spina.
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 .