ESCs are important as research subjects since the mechanisms underlying cellular differentiation, expansion, and self-renewal can be studied along with differentiated tissue development and regeneration in vitro. Furthermore, human ESCs hold promise for cell and tissue replacement approaches to treating human diseases. The rhesus monkey is a clinically relevant primate model that will likely be required to bring these clinical applications to fruition. Monkey ESCs share a number of properties with human ESCs, and their derivation and use are not affected by bioethical concerns. Here, we summarize our experience in the establishment of 18 ESC lines from rhesus monkey preimplantation embryos generated by the application of the assisted reproductive technologies. The newly derived monkey ESC lines were maintained in vitro without losing their chromosomal integrity, and they expressed markers previously reported present in human and monkey ESCs. We also describe initial efforts to compare the pluripotency of ESC lines by expression profiling, chimeric embryo formation, and in vitro-directed differentiation into endodermal, mesodermal, and ectodermal lineages.