He is one of the three Khenchen or 'great khenpos' of Namdroling Monastery. He was born in 1936, at Riphu, in the Dergé region of Eastern Tibet. He started to study at the age of eight, learning to read and write Tibetan with his uncle, Lama Chözang, while he was herding cattle. At fourteen, he went to Lhasa and studied under masters and scholars of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1953 he received ordination from Shechen Kongtrul Rinpoche.
In Lhasa, he met Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and served as his attendant for about ten years, fleeing with him to India in 1959. Over the years, he received many teachings from him, including the Guhyagarbha Tantra, and Longchenpa’s Treasury of Pith Instructions.
In 1968, at the request of Kyabjé Penor Rinpoche he went to Namdroling Monastery to teach. Though the shedra was not yet established at that time, Khen Rinpoche taught the monks for several years. The shedra was finally established in 1978 and from then until 2003, for 25 years, Khenpo Pema Sherab taught there tirelessly while also managing the institution.
This is Khenchen Pema Sherab's first visit to Lerab Ling. However, in 2008, he taught the Rigpa Shedra in Nepal.