Diego Hangartner completed his studies in pharmacology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), with a special interest in substances that have an effect on the mind. After finishing his studies, he started a pharmaceutical company. He then ran a pharmacy in Zürich and worked within the Swiss drug addiction initiatives. Working in these areas reinforced his interest in understanding the mind and consciousness. He then worked for Pharmaciens sans Frontieres in Nepal, where he encountered Buddhist methodology of investigating the mind. He then spent 11 years in Dharamsala, India, where he learned Tibetan language fluently and then studied in Tibetan for 7 years at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. During those years he did several meditation retreats, and worked as a translator and interpreter for lamas, both in Dharamsala and abroad, translating Tibetan into English, German, French and Spanish. He also led science workshops with Tibetan monks.
After returning to Europe in 2003, he taught widely, was General Secretary of the extended visits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Switzerland 2005 and to Hamburg 2007, and many other events with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Diego has been associated with the Mind and Life Institute since the late 1990′s, both as a participant as well as in organizational matters. Between 2009 and 2012 he was the Chief Operating Officer of the Mind and Life Institute. He is presently the Director of Mind and Life Europe, building and sustaining Europe-specific initiatives.