Thank you to our outgoing global director, Jacie Keeley!

Reflections on the Precipice of a New Season: Growth, Challenges, and Change

Nearly three years ago, in November 2019, Tenzin Osel Hita (Global Tree Initiative founder), shared his vision. Osel wished to find a way for people of all backgrounds to come together over a meaningful project that could be offered to the Dalai Lama as a token of gratitude for his never-ending and universal inspiration.

Jacie Keeley, the first Global Tree Initiative (GTI) Global Director, immediately understood the mission – to build a global community committed to fostering a conscious, wise, warm-hearted world of peace, where people respect and live in harmony with each other, with animals, and with the environment.

From there, the Global Tree Initiative was born.

As we near the third anniversary of GTI becoming more than just a wish, but a tangible community, it is fitting to reflect upon where we have come from, and the challenges we have faced and look to the future.

GTI has grown considerably since its inception, thanks to the leadership of the first global director, Jacie Keeley!

In just under three years, GTI has recorded 1,640,621 trees planted in 59 countries! There are regional coordinators in 15 different countries, spanning six continents. It is easy to see that GTI has come a long way from its origins as a WhatsApp group in January 2020.

In September 2020, GTI became registered in the U.S. as a 501c3 non-profit (under its umbrella organization Universal Clear Light).

When the needs of the non-profit outgrew the ability to be supported by only unpaid volunteers, Jacie took to fundraising for the first (and only) paid staff members, beyond the bookkeeper and webmaster. Thanks to the generosity of many, Jacie was able to bring on Anrich Bester and later Kika (Francisca) Gusmão to fill the two independent contractor roles.

Jacie has brought GTI from just a seed to growing roots, sprouting, and now the beginnings of a blooming community united by tree planting. The season has come to bid a fond farewell to Jacie as she enters retirement for a second time, and welcome in new faces to step into leadership and bring Global Tree Initiative to a full-fledged mature, and flowering organization!

Jacie originally retired in 2015 after a fulfilling career in community organizing and resource building. From serving as secretary to her Buddhist teacher, Lama Yeshe, for six years, organizing one of the first world tours for the Dalai Lama in the early 80s, starting a Buddhist center in South Florida in the late 80s, to building an award-winning children’s summer enrichment program from scratch, helping older adults continue life-long learning, and connecting small business owners to mentors, Jacie has had an impactful career.

She came out of retirement in 2019 to help Tenzin Osel Hita realize his dream, and what has become her dream, and the dream of so many involved in the Global Tree Initiative; plant your tree, grow our forest, save their future!

Please join us in thanking Jacie Keeley for all she has done as the first-ever global director of the Global Tree Initiative. Please, congratulate her on her second retirement after a long and inspiring career of service.

Please share this. Thank you!


  1. Marilyn Magazin

    Thank you so much for your efforts and devotion. What amazing work you and the team has done! You have been an inspiration to me.

  2. Jennifer Troyan

    Jacie, You have been such an inspiration to so many over the years and I wish you the best in your next chapter. Sending lots of love your way!

    • Jacquelyn Keeley

      Thank you for your kind words! You will always be in my heart.

  3. Felicity

    Thank you for inspiring me to join in service with the GTI! It’s incredible everything you’ve done these past three years. Congratulations on retirement 2.0!

  4. Margaret Bachtler

    Hi Jacie! I know you put your heart and soul into making GTI the success that it is. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this very important cause. Your toil has made a hugh contribution to mother earth making it a better place for all sentient beings! I am so grateful, many thanks!

  5. Kika Gusmao

    Jacie, I deeply appreciate the opportunity you have given me. To work with and to know this wonderful community has been incredibly rewarding.
    I wish you all the best, and I hope we keep in touch.
    Keep an eye on the GTI and see it blossom.
    Be well <3

    • Martha

      Thank you very much for all your efforts for the benefit of all beings. We wish that the fruits of your works multiply infinitely and we dedicate the merits of this generous work to your happiness. Thank you for your example!

  6. Dharmendra Kar

    I was blessed to work with Jacie. Such a pleasant and adorable personality. All the best Jacie. Thanks for the ignition in many ways.

  7. Dah Ebbe

    It’s hard for us to leave a Director like you. We are fortunate to be working with your management. It was a great opportunity for us to work with you. Thank you so much

  8. Maria Damsholt

    Dearest Jacie,
    Thank you soooo much for your inspiring work through all these years. I wish you a wonderful retirement and hope to see you again. Yours Maria from Denmark

  9. Kanguha Susan

    Thank you Jacie, for your kindness, effort and devotion. You been a blessing to us working with you. I wish you all the best and hope we keep in touch. Thank you.

  10. Imam Maiyaki

    We will miss your dedication and experience. Best of luck on your future endeavors.

    • Eugene McManus

      Top woman Jacie, ☀️ much admiration and respect for ur lifes dedication in benefiting us all… 🙏 … Thku thku for ur being 😊
      Warmest wishes ✨ from Ireland!
      🌄 ☘️ 🌅
      Eugene 🌞

  11. Ani Jampa Sangmo

    Hi Jacie, thank you for your wonderful job, and best auspicious success for all your activities in the dharma, with love, hope to see you soon, ani Sangmo from FPMT Italy ILTK

  12. TTM

    Thank you, Jacie, for your dedicated service to Lama, to Osel, to all sentient beings and to the planet. I rejoice in your activities to benefit all!

  13. Brian

    Hi Jacie, Your energy and enthusiasm is boundless, glad that we met along the path. Much best wishes for the future.

  14. Tubten Pende

    Well done, Jacie!

  15. Rita Hughes

    Sometimes my curiosity about old friends leads me to a productive search. Hello Jacie! What a wonderful career you have had! Lovely to hear that you have followed your passion and done great work. Hope you are well and enjoying retirement. Sending good memories from a time long ago. Rita Trujillo Hughes.


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