Alex has a PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of Michigan. He is the Director of The Treasury of Lives, a digital biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, the Himalayas, and Central Asia. The Treasury publishes peer-reviewed biographies written by more than a hundred authors, and is read by practitioners and scholars around the globe. His thesis topic was the gazetteer known as Twenty-Five Great Sites of Kham, a network of sacred spaces centered on Derge and developed by Chokgyur Lingpa, Jamgon Kongtrul, and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. During his research he lived in Derge and at Dzongsar Monastery, and visited many of the sites in the gazetteer; places that Khyentse Wangpo and the others “opened,” or sanctified, and where they practiced and revealed treasures.
In 2006, during a year-long postdoctoral position at the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, (now the Buddhist Digital Resource Center), Alex created the outline of the 1977–1980 Gangtok edition of Khyentse Wangpo’s Collected Works (W21807), a reproduction of the 1919 Dzongsar xylographic edition. Based partly on his dissertation work, in 2019 he published The Life of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (Snow Lion).
Alex lives in rural New York State near the Catskill Mountains and the Delaware River with his family, sheep, and chickens.