The Dalai Lama is widely considered to be the leader of Buddhism. However, some practitioners of the Buddhist faith choose their own spiritual guides and do not recognize him as their leader.
The current Dalai Lama is the 14th person to hold the title. His first predecessor accepted the role in the 1400s. Rather than bearing the title of the leader of the Buddhist people, the Dalai Lama refers to himself as the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He is committed to keeping Tibetan Buddhist culture alive and he travels the world speaking and writing on happiness, inner peace, and nonviolence.