Alexander holds a dual BA in Linguistics and Philosophy from Boston College, an MA in Buddhist Philosophy and Himalayan Languages from the Rangjung Yeshe Institute at Kathmandu University in Boudhanath, Nepal, and a PhD in Religion from Emory University completed under Drs. Sara McClintock and John Dunne. He has been studying and practicing Buddhadharma since 2005, when he took refuge under the Bodhi Tree with Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche during a semester spent studying abroad in Nepal. After graduating magna cum laude from Boston College, he returned to Kathmandu on his first Fulbright research fellowship. Alexander remained in Nepal for the next six years, studying the foundational texts of Tibetan Buddhist scholastic philosophy. During that time, apart from his formal studies at RYI, he was also fortunate to receive teaching and empowerment from the lamas of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling, as well as many other teachers, including Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Kyabgon Gongma Trichen Rinpoche, and Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche. During his second Fulbright research fellowship in Sarnath, India, Alexander was similarly fortunate to receive instruction in Sanskrit Buddhist philosophy from Drs. Ram Shankar Tripathi and Pradeep Gokhale.
To date, Alexander’s research has focused primarily on “luminosity” (’od gsal or gsal ba) as this key term is presented in Indian Buddhist epistemological literature. His Master’s thesis translates and examines a pithy presentation of luminosity by Ratnākaraśānti, also known as the Mahāsiddha Śāntipa, who was a teacher of Maitripāda and one of four debate-masters at Vikramaśīla Mahāvihāra. Alexander’s doctoral dissertation, a partial translation and commentary on the Perception Chapter of Dharmakīrti’s Pramāṇavārttika, places a particular emphasis on the closely-related technical term “reflexive awareness” (rang rig) as this term is developed in Dharmakīrti’s epistemology.
Alexander lives in his hometown of New Orleans, where he enjoys walks along the Mississippi with his wife and their two sons.