Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Jun 03rd
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Home Our Volunteers Stories In Memory of Han Huang, Former CEO of Tzu Chi USA

In Memory of Han Huang, Former CEO of Tzu Chi USA

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On June 18, in America, Tzu Chi volunteer Dr. Han Huang bid his farewell to the Tzu Chi Dharma family for this lifetime. All Tzu Chi volunteers around the world could not bear to lose such a beloved Dharma family member.

From a Scientist to a Volunteer

His kindness was well known to all. Two big fires in San Diego were a major turning point in his life and made him decide to leave academia to serve Tzu Chi. The second fire became an important force that helped him to be more brave and determined to stay in Tzu Chi.

He recalled the fires with tears in his eyes, “Many people had to pay for the two disasters, and many thousands of households lost their houses and families due to the fire.”

Because of this compassion, he was willing to change from a scientist who studies genetics into a Tzu Chi volunteer who actively joined its mission in the world to save people.

From 2012 to 2019, Han served as the CEO of Tzu Chi USA. He traveled to disaster-stricken areas in Central and South America, witnessed suffering, and cultivated compassion. He led Tzu Chi in the US and  established a complete administrative system. He also created the world's first electronic Tzu Chi coin bank. He led Tzu Chi volunteers deep into the community and opened up new opportunities for religious harmony.

"The eight years I took over as CEO of  Tzu Chi USA were the most precious and unforgettable years of my life," he said in 2019.

Never Forget the Mission as a Jing Si Disciple

In 2022, when he was back to Taiwan to pay a visit to Master Cheng Yen for Chinese New Year, he vowed: “May I start anew with a pure mind in the new year.”

After returning to the U.S., he tried to connect Tzu Chi more deeply with American society. Han said that, although the wave of COVID-19 pandemic was cruel, it has created many opportunities for Tzu Chi. In the past, Tzu Chi tried to contact certain hospitals, government agencies and charities, but without success; now, thanks to the pandemic, they have established relationships with them.

He also hoped to train a group of young volunteers and give them opportunities to develop their skills and strength to help people. With the advantages of their cultural background growing up in the United States, and based on the spiritual concept of Tzu Chi, they can be trained as Tzu Chi seed volunteers.

He also hoped to make connections with more universities and institutions, integrate with local customs and invite more local volunteers to practice the Tzu Chi charity work together.

Han was grateful that Tzu Chi has gradually been accepted by mainstream society in the United States.

Kept His Resolve Firmly until Last Second

During the past two years, he was treated for thyroid cancer and continued  treatment for arrhythmia. They affected his normal life. On the afternoon of June 12, when he was about to go to the Tzu Chi headquarters to practice the sutra adaptation, he suddenly suffered a brain hemorrhage and was sent to a hospital for emergency treatment. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff, unfortunately, he passed away on June 18 at 6:28 pm PT / 9:28 pm EST.

During the final week when he was sick in hospital, many relatives, Dharma family, and friends came to care for him. Tzu Chi Founder Master Chen Yen called him twice to comfort him and remind him to keep his firm resolve in mind. At the second time, after hearing Master’s soft words, he just could not help but shed tears. The very next day, he left the world quietly and peacefully.

He often praised Tzu Chi USA volunteers: “Through all these community services, we put compassion into action. That is the key and I feel that you guys really have done a wonderful great job.” The work he did not have time to finish, someone has already taken over and is moving forward. Tzu Chi volunteers in USA will continue to fulfill his plan.


" Do not underestimate yourself; everyone has unlimited potential. "
Jing-Si Aphorism