Executive Profiles

Bhutan's First and Only A+ Accredited Institution      Inspiring Education in Bhutan


Founding Director

Tenzing Yonten is the founding Director of the college. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from Yale University. He worked as a civil servant in the Ministry of Trade & Industries for 14 years before he left in 2007 to start RTC. As a civil servant he worked first in the Department of Power and then the Bhutan Power Corporation. He has experience in a wide range of areas covering policy formulation, planning, project management, contracts, regulation and operations. He has also done some consulting work and interned at the World Bank in Washington DC. 

He started work on the RTC project in 2007 and has been fully involved in all aspects of the establishment from planning, design and project management to institutional development and organization. He served as the head of the college till 2015 and continues to remain involved in the governance and strategic direction of the institution.

He is a member of the National Environment Commission and is also a shareholder’s representative on the board of the Bhutan National Bank. He has served on the boards of many organizations such as the Druk Green Power Corporation, Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan, Penden Cement Authority, Bhutan Olympic Committee, Bhutan Electricity Authority and the Royal Education Council. He has also served as President of the Bhutan Basketball Federation and Chairman of Bhutan Telecom, as well as an independent director at the Bhutan National Bank. His interests include all manner of sports (basketball, football, golf, biking, etc.), reading, trekking and travel.



T.S. Powdyel

Thakur S Powdyel is an educator by choice and motivation. His teaching experience spans schools, colleges and universities and includes leadership and management, curriculum planning, teacher education and community service, among others. He writes regularly on development issues, education and democracy, and meditates on educational integrity, institutional honour, national self-respect and moral literacy. Powdyel has travelled extensively across the length and breadth of his country and developed a deep understanding of the aspirations of his fellow-citizens and the needs of the country.

As the Minister of Education (2008-2013), Powdyel, in tandem with his colleagues, worked hard to achieve universal enrolment and gender parity at primary school level, enhance non-formal and continuing education, and restore Education to its core function by initiating the Green Schools programme under the auspices of the Educating for Gross National Happiness initiative. In his capacity as a Member of Parliament, he introduced some important bills particularly those affecting the welfare of women and children.

Powdyel has been Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Japan, and Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, and has delivered talks at other university and college campuses. His published works include “As I Am, So Is My Nation”, Right of Vision & Occasional Views”, and “My Green School: An Outline”, now available in Spanish and Catalan. He is the principal author of “The Light of My Life”.

Thakur S Powdyel was awarded the prestigious International Gusi Peace Prize in 2011 for Life-time Contribution to Education, and the Global Education Award in 2012 for Outstanding Contribution to Education. Powdyel received the sacred Dakyen from His Majesty the King on April 11, 2008, and became Bhutan’s Minister of Education in the country’s first democratically elected government. 

Powdyel joined the Royal Thimphu College in March 2015 in honour of the Noble Sector as the vital instrument of nation-building.


Dr. Shivaraj Bhattarai

Dean, Academic Affairs

Dr. Shivaraj Bhattarai heads the Academic Affairs of the college. Prior to joining RTC in 2008 as the Founding Dean, he was the Dean of Academic Affairs at Sherubtse College, the lone premier university college in Bhutan till recent times. He has an MSC in Bio-Science and a PhD in Limnology (freshwater ecology). With several years of teaching, research and administrative experience, he is involved in administration and management of the academics of the college. A member of the Academic Board of the Royal University of Bhutan, he is responsible for execution of existing academic programs and for general academic advancement of the college. For his long and dedicated public service he received the prestigious Life Time Service Award (Gold) from His Majesty the King in 2013. His other interests include travelling, trekking, reading and playing indoor games. He is keen user of social media and blogs at http://shiva-bhattarai.blogspot.com



Registrar, Student Services

Nim Dem is from Haa in western Bhutan. She possesses BA and B.Ed. degrees and an M.Ed. from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. Prior to joining RTC she was the Director of the Department of Adult and Higher Education in the Ministry of Education. She has worked in the field of education for 28 years in various positions. Her personal interests include reading, watching movies, travelling and gardening.


Samir Patel

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs; Interim Dean, Development and External Relations

Dr. Samir Patel is an Indian-born US national from California, USA. He double-majored in Integrated Sciences & Biology as an undergraduate student at Northwestern University, USA, after completing an undergraduate honors project. He earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University, USA, in Biological Sciences (Cell Biology/Biochemistry). After three additional years of postdoctoral research at the University of California, Santa Cruz and San Francisco, he came to Bhutan in 2008 to serve as a Lecturer, first in Life Sciences at Sherubtse College in Eastern Bhutan, then at Royal Thimphu College in Thimphu, Bhutan since 2012 as an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies. He has been serving as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at RTC since 2013. He currently also advises the IT support department, and serves as the Interim Dean for the Development and External Relations Department. His interests include hiking, reading, cooking, and travel.


Samir Patel

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Ms. Nawang Yangden is from Thimphu, Bhutan. She obtained first divisions in both her U.G and P.G degrees, viz. Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Delhi University and Masters in Commerce (with specialization in Finance), from Himachal Pradesh University.During her under-graduate program, she did a project on “Credit Rating Analysis - A study on CRISIL (Credit Rating Information Service of India Limited)”.  She has an accounting certificate in “Tally 7.2” from BCMT in Himachal Pradesh and a teaching certificate on “Teaching Skills & Assessment Training” from Tayang Educational Consultancy, Paro, Bhutan.