Michael Vaillancourt Aris, (27 March 1946 – 27 March 1999) was a leading Western author on Bhutanese, Tibetan and Himalayan culture and wrote numerous books on Buddhism in those regions. He was the husband of Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi.
Aris was born in Havana, Cuba. His mother, Josette Aris (nee Vaillancourt), was the Canadian Ambassador’s daughter, and his English father, John Aris, was an officer with the British Council.
After being educated at Worth School in Sussex and upon completing his degree in modern history at St Cuthbert’s Society, Durham University in 1967, Aris spent six years as the private tutor of the children of the royal family of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.
Aris was an academic and lecturer in Asian history at St John’s College and later at St Antony’s College, Oxford. In the last years before his death, he helped to establish a specialist Tibetan and Himalayan Studies centre at Oxford.