Washington, DC   |


The mission of the Bhutan Foundation is to focus on enabling the people of Bhutan to reach their full potential by developing local capacity and facilitating global support. The Bhutan Foundation serves the people of Bhutan in living and sharing the principle of Gross National Happiness. We cherish the values of the Bhutanese intention: measuring “happiness" as the highest attribute of all decision-making. We contribute to strategies of conservation of the environment, equitable and sustainable development, good governance, and preservation of culture in Bhutan.  The Bhutan Foundation serves as the only American not-for-profit organization that is wholly focused on the benefit of the country and people of Bhutan, bridging understanding between our two countries and beyond.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Tshewang R. Wangchuk

Main address

1050 Connecticut Ave #66013

Washington, DC 20035 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (W12)

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

Hospitals and Primary Medical Care Facilities (E20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Conservation of the Environment

The Bhutan Foundation’s conservation program focuses on two main themes: endangered species and climate change. Our main emphasis is on capacity building for efficient monitoring of key species, getting a better grasp of the impacts of climate change, and fostering a platform for advocacy on these important issues that affect Bhutan today. The results we anticipate through this program would lead to conservation of Bhutan’s natural environment and reinforce community resilience and adaptability towards the negative impacts of climate change.

Population(s) Served

Informed and active citizens are essential to a successful democracy. Good governance highlights the importance of promoting the connections between civil rights, transparency, accountability, and effective management of a country’s resources. Through partnerships with the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy and the Bhutan Media Foundation, the Bhutan Foundation aims to help create a platform for discussion and debate on issues of importance to the Bhutanese people. The Foundation currently helps build capacity in the civil society sector by facilitating workshops, trainings, and collaboration between organizations.

Population(s) Served

As Bhutan continues to go through dynamic changes, preserving the cultural heritage of the people is more important than ever. Bhutan’s architecture, cultural events, traditions, and rituals all help create the distinct Bhutanese way of life. The Bhutan Foundation works with the Government of Bhutan to preserve Bhutan’s unique
identity by funding the restoration of important cultural sites, such as the Trashigang Dzong and Drametse Lhakhang in eastern Bhutan, which were severely damaged by an earthquake in September 2009. Natural disasters such as earthquakes remain a threat to Bhutan’s unique architecture and cultural heritage. In addition to supporting the conservation and restoration of monasteries, dzongs, and heritage site, the Bhutan Foundation also works towards improving the living conditions of the many young monks and nuns residing in the monasteries.

Population(s) Served

The Bhutan Foundation aims to fill critical gaps in the country’s development process. Our two main programs are the Special Education program and the Emergency Medical Services program.

In partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Bhutan Foundation helped establish a pilot special education program at eight schools around the country and a monastery. The program was designed to respond to the special education needs of all children with disabilities and caters to the urgency in developing the capacity of educators for effective identification and adequate response to the varied needs of children with learning and other disabilities.

The Foundation also works closely with the Ministry of Health, Phelps Memorial Hospital (NY) and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative on an Emergency Medicine Services program. The program aims to help strengthen Bhutan’s emergency medicine services through first responder workshops for the police, firefighters, and the general community; emergency medicine trainings for health workers; and creating a trauma registry and monitoring system to gather data that can be used to identify injury trends and treatments, evaluate the program’s impact.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of rallies/events/conferences/lectures held to further mission

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Equitable and Sustainable Development

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The Bhutan Foundation organized several webinars, conferences and shared campaign videos on various programs in 2022. It also included interviews from the field and joint events with our partners.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We want to enable all Bhutanese to reach their full potential by building local capacity and facilitating global support.

We envision a Bhutan that is a progressive democratic society strengthened by Gross National Happiness (GNH) values. GNH is Bhutan's development philosophy whereby a balance between material progress and societal wellbeing is maintained.

Where capacity exists in Bhutan, we prove the means and tools for accomplishing our partners' goals; where it does't exist we either bring specialists from outside to train the Bhutanese or bring the Bhutanese to be trained outside. We build professional linkages between Bhutanese and U.S. institutions that will further build capacity and promote collaborative projects.

Being based in Washington, DC, the Bhutan Foundation is in a position to reach out to some of the best U.S. institutions e.g. Yale University, Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic, and Perkins International, among others, for specialized professional support in Public Health, Special Education, Conservation etc. Our network of board members and advisory council members deepen our reach into networks that possess these skills.

With another office in Thimphu, Bhutan, we are able to effectively coordinate with all our local partners, including government and non-government agencies. Our team of dedicated staff come from various backgrounds that cover the gamut of our program areas.

We have trained over 300 Bhutanese doctors and nurses in EMS, and established an emergency medicine training center at the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan. Our climate change project involves 340 students and 34 teachers across Bhutan documenting climate change. This project has made its way into high school environmental science curriculum in all schools across Bhutan. Bhutanese biologists have documented the first national tiger survey results in Bhutan. Our Special Educations Needs program runs in 12 schools, bringing education to more children with disabilities in Bhutan. The first fully networked fire detection and alarm, and suppression system has been installed in one of the 17th century historic structures in eastern Bhutan. These are some of our accomplishments; more can be read in our annual reports.

We still have to work at encouraging public discourse as an important element of a new democracy. This process has started, but we still have a long way to go.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?



Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 02/01/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mrs. Daphne Hoch Cunningham

Board co-chair

Her Majesty Ashi Tseyring Pem Wangchuck

No Affliation

Term: 2006 -

Frank G. Wisner

Patton Boggs LLP

Bruce W. Bunting

No Affiliation

Brian J. Menkes

Charles G. Koch Foundation

Lucy Goelet

No Affiliation

Douglas W. Hamilton

Hamilton Associates, Inc.

Daphne Hoch Cunningham

No Affiliation

Eric Lemelson

Karuna Foundation

Donna Marshall

Private Practice

Michael Philipp


Rebecca D. Winsor

William H. Donner Foundation

Rosemary Phelan

Theodore Kaplan

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP

Henry Lewis

Hunter Lewis LLC

David Hulse

Ford Foundation

Katherine van Hengel

William Tacon

Lisa Danzig

Excision Bio Therapeutics

Phuntsho Norbu

Consul General of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the United States of America

Tshewang Wangchuk

Bhutan Foundation

Tseyring Pem Wangchuk

President of the Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF)

John Goelet

Lyonpo Om Pradhan

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/18/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian/Asian American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/26/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.