Zegrahm Field Leader Gary Wintz is what you might call a cultural conduit between East and West. For most of the past 35 years, Gary has been traveling outside the United States researching, writing, photographing, and lecturing about distant lands and cultures. Widely recognized as an expert on Asia, he has worked on humanitarian efforts in Indochina, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, and contributed his expertise to development projects in Ethiopia. Though most only dream of a private audience with the Dalai Lama, Wintz has met with His Holiness “several times” and even lectured in his presence.
As a student of philosophy at Duns Scotus College in Michigan—where he graduated cum laude—Gary developed both a sense of wanderlust and a deep desire to better the world. (He has since traveled to more than 220 countries and territories while collaborating with UNICEF and other esteemed organizations.) In 1981, Chengdu University of Science and Technology in China’s Sichuan Province invited him to teach as a foreign expert; the next year, he was employed by Tibet University in Lhasa—thus becoming one of the first Westerners to actually reside in Tibet since Chinese occupation.
Wintz is a longtime member of the Association for Asian Studies and other respected groups and, since 1987, has worked as a consultant for development organizations and media projects throughout Southeast Asia. A much-sought-after speaker, Gary regularly lectures on Buddhism, Tibet, and other contemporary issues at such esteemed universities as Harvard, Yale, and Beijing, as well as major global institutions including the National Geographic Society and World Affairs Council.
Beyond his academic and humanitarian efforts, Gary is an accomplished photographer whose works grace everything from postcards to book covers around the world. He has also authored a Tibet prep guidebook, filed articles for national periodicals, and is among the contributors to White Lotus, a recently published anthology on Tibetan culture. He currently is at work on an autobiography of his travels.
Wintz’s lifelong wanderlust continues to take him around the world, lecturing on cruise ships, leading expeditions, and sharing his knowledge and experiences of such vastly diverse countries as Bhutan, Cambodia, and Iran. Gary enjoys good connections across the globe, and it is not uncommon for him to invite guest speakers of distinction to join his tour groups for an informal talk. His genuine love of meeting and interacting with people and learning about their cultures is infectious, infusing all those around him with this same joy and enthusiasm. Mission accomplished.