Chade-Meng Tan (Meng) is a Google pioneer, an award-winning engineer, a New York Times bestselling author, a thought leader and a philanthropist whose work has received eight nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is also quite funny.
Meng was one of Google’s earliest engineers. He retired from Google in 2015, after 15+ years of service, and a few days after he turned 45. His job title was “Jolly Good Fellow (which nobody can deny)”. Like many things in Google, his unusual job title started as a joke, but eventually became real. Among many other things, he helped build Google’s first mobile search service, headed the team that kept a vigilant eye on Google’s search quality, and was a founding member of Google’s Chinese Search team. After a successful eight-year stint in Engineering, Meng became the first practicing engineer in Google’s history to move from Engineering to People Operations. His job description was, “Enlighten minds, open hearts, create world peace”.
At Google, Meng led the creation of a groundbreaking mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course called Search Inside Yourself, which was featured on the front page of the Sunday Business section of the New York Times. Search Inside Yourself is also the title of Meng’s first New York Times bestselling book which has been endorsed by world leaders such as President Carter of the United States and President Nathan of Singapore, business leaders such as Eric Schmidt of Google and John Mackey of Whole Foods Markets, and spiritual leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Deepak Chopra. Meng hopes Search Inside Yourself will eventually contribute to world peace in a meaningful way.
Outside of Google, Meng is Co-Chair of the One Billion Acts of Peace campaign, which has been nominated by 8 Nobel Peace Prize winners for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the Founder and (Jolly Good) President of the Tan Teo Charitable Foundation, a small foundation dedicated to promoting Peace, Liberty and Enlightenment in the world. He is also a Founder and the Chairman of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI, pronounced “silly”). He is a Founding Patron of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), Founding Patron of the World Peace Festival, and an adviser to a number of technology start-ups. He is also Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in the National University of Singapore.
Meng earned his MS in Computer Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He went to Santa Barbara mainly for the beach, but didn’t mind the graduate degree either. He has won many computing-related awards, including the Championship of Singapore’s National Software Competition. Prior to coming to the United States, Meng had a successful engineering career in Singapore. (He knew it was successful because nobody offered to fire him).
Meng created one of the world’s earliest websites on Buddhism in 1995. He considers himself a Buddhist “on most weekdays, especially Mondays”. He is an avid meditator, because meditation facilitates in him inner peace and happiness “without doing real work”. Meng was featured on the front page of the New York Times. He delivered a TED talk on compassion at the United Nations and spoke at the White House about the development of kindness. He has met three United States Presidents: Obama, Clinton and Carter. The Dalai Lama gave him a hug for his 40th birthday. President Carter gave him a standing ovation at one of his talks. Most importantly, he made mom proud. His personal motto is, “Life is too important to be taken seriously”.
Meng hopes to see every workplace in the world become a drinking fountain for happiness and enlightenment. When Meng grows up, he wants to save the world, and have lots of fun and laughter doing it. He feels if something is no laughing matter, it is probably not worth doing. Meng considers Shinzen one of his main teachers.