Dechen Wangdu is Adam Yauch's wife and Tenzin Losel Yauch's mother. She is the American-born daughter of prominent Tibetan activists. She has been active in Students for a Free Tibet, the U.S. Tibet Committee, and the Tibetan Women's Association.
Wangdu met Yauch in 1995 when they both attended a speech by the Dalai Lama at Harvard University. Yauch was there to present Milarepa's initial donation to the Harvard chapter of Students for a Free Tibet; Wangdu was there as Harvard's representative for Students for a Free Tibet. Months later, the two bumped into each other again in Chicago at a Students for a Free Tibet conference. At the time, Yauch was struggling with life choices. He told Rolling Stone, "I was debating between the idea of being a celibate and becoming a monk or actually having family...I was deciding whether or not I wanted to try being in a serious relationship or just stay on my own...Dechen and I started spending some time together and hanging out, it just felt like it would be great to have a family. That would be the right thing to do."
Wangdu and Yauch married on May 31, 1998, in New York in a traditional Tibetan wedding ceremony. As a wedding gift, Yauch arranged for her favorite band, Rancid, to perform at their wedding reception.
Wangdu is featured in the 1998 documentary Free Tibet, which was produced by Yauch. She is credited as an art director for the To the 5 Boroughs album packaging. Matteo Pericoli, the artist responsible for the drawing of Manhattan on the cover of To the 5 Boroughs, thanked her for her editorial suggestions in the acknowledgements of his book The City Out My Window. Wangdu has also contributed to Glamour magazine and Tibet Freedom Concert magazines.