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 concluded three rounds 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 unique 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. Towards this goal, the need for strong institutions to support and promote democracy is paramount.
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, governance and strategic studies. 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 fledgling democracy through its efforts in leadership development, research and public education.
RIGSS currently offers nine different leadership programs for different target audiences from various sectors. Besides equipping our leaders with the necessary leadership skills and related tools, most RIGSS courses also 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 all our leaders to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of our country, the opportunities we have and the challenges we have to deal with. RIGSS provides a perfect forum where current and future decision-makers of our country could come together to forge a collective aspiration for our country and chart out the best possible ways to move forward.
Besides leadership development, RIGSS has also launched its Research Wing. Research works at RIGSS will focus on five key areas of data analysis, foreign policy, national security, emerging technologies and finance. In addition, the institute organizes a number of public events such as the Friday Forum Lectures, The RIGSS Dialogues, The RIGSS Policy Debates and The RIGSS Policy Seminars.
RIGSS, in partnership with the Centre for Escalation of Peace (CEP) in New Delhi, India also organizes the India-Bhutan Dialogue (IBD), which is a Track II dialogue mechanism to foster India-Bhutan relations, and the India-Bhutan Youth Summit (IBYS) which aims to promote better understanding and appreciation of India-Bhutan relations amongst youths of the two countries.