Leonard Zwilling studied with Geshe Wangyal from 1967 to 1978 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a BA in 1970, going on to receive an MA in Hindu studies (1972) and a PhD in Buddhist studies (1976) also at UW-Madison. His dissertation, on apoha in Buddhist logic, was directed by Geshe Lhundub Sopa. He did predoctoral research in Sri Lanka (1973–74) and Nepal (1974–75) under Ford Foundation and Fulbright-Hays scholarships. From 1977 to 1983 Dr. Zwilling taught Asian religions, Sanskrit, and Tibetan at UW-Madison and elsewhere. He received an MLS from UW-Madison in 1985 and from 1986 to 2009 was the general editor and bibliographer of the Dictionary of American Regional English in the department of English at UW-Madison, where he is presently senior scientist emeritus. Dr. Zwilling has published in a number of fields, and since 2005 his work has centered on Ippolito Desideri and missions in Tibet.