The Kings of Bhutan have provided unprecedented leadership and selfless service, bringing the country forward through a century of change and progress. This timeless legacy of leadership continues to bless the country and her people as Bhutan successfully transitioned to a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy in 2008, and recently concluded the third round of parliamentary elections peacefully. Democracy in Bhutan, that people often describe as “a gift from the Golden Throne”, is taking strong roots, inspired by His Majesty The King’s vision, dynamism and leadership. Much like the most profound manner in which Bhutan became a democracy, our democracy holds tremendous hope and potential to be truly profound and progressive- one that would fulfil the aspirations of our people and strengthen the long-term national objectives of a sovereign, united and happy nation. And we need institutions to foster development of the right kind of leadership- founded on character, knowledge, competency and tenacity that would promote and support such national causes.

The Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS), a premier leadership institute and a think tank, was established by His Majesty The King in 2013. The first of its kind in the country, RIGSS is an autonomous, not-for-profit institute to promote excellence in leadership and governance through world-class training, discourse and research, oriented towards enabling personal transformation and nation-building. As Bhutan enters a new era in its evolution as a sovereign nation-state, RIGSS indeed plays a vital role in ensuring further success of our democracy through its efforts in leadership development, research and idea incubation. The timing and milieu for the creation of a national institute with such a grand mandate couldn’t have been more appropriate.

RIGSS currently offers nine different leadership programs for different target audiences from various sectors. Among other things, most RIGSS courses provide comprehensive and analytical understanding of pertinent national issues and emerging trends and challenges. For a small country like Bhutan, given its challenging economic, geographical and geo-political realities, it is imperative for each of our leader and potential future leader to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of our country and the issues we have to deal with. RIGSS provides a perfect forum where current and future decision-makers would come together to forge a collective aspiration for our country and chart out the best possible ways forward.

The newly launched Research Wing of RIGSS will focus on five major areas of research, namely, data analysis, national security, foreign policy, emerging technologies and finance.  Further, an in-house and organic research capability at RIGSS will provide for a symbiotic relationship between applied research and training that will enrich the content and impact of the institute’s training courses. Going forward, research would indeed form the bedrock of RIGSS as a think tank.