Kōkyō Ivan Gallo currently works as VP of Finance and Operations at a fast-growing financial high-tech (FinTech) start-up, with a strong social mission, in San Francisco. Ivan’s professional background includes four years of management consulting experience at McKinsey & Company, as well as eight years of professional sales and worldwide sales strategy and planning experience at Fortune 500 technology company Cisco Systems. He began his career as a Software Engineer at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.
Ivan has been practicing Soto Zen Buddhism since early 2016. In this short period as a beginner practitioner, he has completely immersed himself in the Dharma and Sangha. Ivan has attended a couple of Practice Periods, a few one-sittings, multiple classes including EPP (Establishing the Path of Practice), and a weekend in Tassajara. He has also held service commitments as doan and fukudo at City Center, been a short-term resident at Hartford Street Zen Center, and even participated as a first-timer on a 150-mile Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage in 2018. Ivan practices regularly, as part of different practice groups, at City Center, Green Gulch Farm, Jikoji Zen Center, Hartford Street Zen Center, Great Spirit Sangha, and North Mountain Zendo.
Ivan received jukai (Buddhist lay ordination) from Urban Temple Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller in the Buddha Hall of SFZC's Beginner's Mind Temple (City Center) on September 17, 2016, surrounded by his teacher, family, and friends. His teacher, SFZC teacher Anshi Zach Smith, gave him the dharma name Kōkyō Jikai 光鏡慈海 (Bright Mirror, Compassion Ocean). Ivan continues to study regularly with his teacher.
Ivan was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, with a minor in Economics, from MIT. Ivan also holds a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
With lots of appreciation, respect and gratitude towards SFZC, Ivan is completely committed and looking forward to serving the SFZC as a board member in the years to come.