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Our History and Mission


The Jane Goodall Institute advances the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment for all living things.



The objectives of the Institute are to:

  • Increase primate habitat conservation
  • Increase awareness of, support for and training in issues related to our relationship with each other, the environment and other animals (leading to behavior change)
  • Expand non-invasive research programs on chimpanzees and other primates
  • Promote activities that ensure the well-being of chimpanzees, other primates and animal welfare activities in general

The Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation, a tax-exempt/non-profit, was founded in California in 1977 by Jane Goodall and Genevieve, Princess di San Faustino. Initially, day-to-day operation of the Institute was handled by board members and other volunteers working out of their homes. In the early 1980s JGI moved to the San Francisco offices of the California Academy of Sciences, where it functioned essentially as a USA/Africa "communication link" and as a repository for files.

To keep pace with Jane's increased public visibility, professional status, and interests, the Institute office soon moved to the area Jane always thought it should be: Washington, DC. The JGI-USA staff is fortunate to have a steady stream of volunteers and interns enthusiastically and capably assisting.