Brendan Ozawa-de Silva serves as Associate Director for the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics at Life University. His full-time appointment is as Associate Director for Emory University’s Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics, where he is responsible for Emory’s SEE (Social, Emotional and Ethical) Learning program, a worldwide K-12 educational curriculum based on compassion and secular ethics. He also serves as Associate Director for Buddhist Studies and Practice at Drepung Loseling Monastery and as a level 2 certified instructor for Emory University’s Cognitively-Based Compassion Training program. Dr. Ozawa-de Silva received his doctorates from Oxford University and Emory University, as well as Master’s degrees from Boston University and Oxford University. He has taught as a Visiting Professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as Associate Professor of Psychology at Life University from 2013-2017, and served as Program Coordinator for the Dalai Lama’s Visits at Emory University in 2007 and 2010. He also served as the founding director for the Chillon Project, Life University’s program to bring degree programs to incarcerated students and correctional staff in Georgia. Dr. Ozawa-de Silva also serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Healthcare, Science and the Humanities, and as a Founding Board member of the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.
Dr. Ozawa-de Silva’s chief interest lies in bringing secular ethics—the cultivation of basic human values—into education and society. His research focuses on the psychological, social and ethical dimensions of prosocial emotions and their cultivation, with a focus on compassion and forgiveness. He has been involved in a dozen meditation studies in Atlanta and in Japan, and has received multiple grants to fund these studies. He has worked to bring compassion training into elementary schools in the Atlanta area, to foster children in Georgia’s foster care program, to women in domestic violence situations, and to incarcerated persons in state correctional facilities in Georgia. This work is featured in the book Compassion: Bridging Science and Practice and in the documentary film, Raising Compassion. He has published recent articles and book chapters on the secularization and scientific study of contemplative practices, scientific research on compassion meditation and its benefits, suicide and mental health in Japan, the mind/body relationship in Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan medicine, and the introduction of contemplative practices and pedagogy into education.