While discussions leading to the formation of DANAM as a voice of followers of Dharma in North America had been ongoing for over three years, the serious efforts to form it began in early 2002, with the holding of the first two planning meetings in Hampton, Virginia.
At these planning meetings, held on 29-30 June and 21 July 2002, it was decided that the first urgent priority was to form an association in which all members of the Hindu community in North America can become active members and participate, and to name the association as Dharma Association of North America (DANAM). It was further decided to subsequently establish an American academy or council of Dharma Studies for scholars and researchers of Hindu Dharma. In 2010 the Dharma Academy of North America was initiated.