The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award
Dr. Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London, England. From earliest childhood, she was fascinated by animals and the Africa she discovered in the storybooks of Tarzan and Dr. Doolittle. In 1957, she traveled to the Kenyan farm of a friend’s parents and met the famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. In 1960, at his invitation, she began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her field research at what was then called Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve—most notably, her discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools—revolutionized the world of primatology and redefined the relationship between humans and animals.
In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to advance her vision and work around the world for generations to come. JGI continues the work at Gombe Stream Research Center and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It is widely recognized for building on Dr. Goodall’s groundbreaking community-centered approach to conservation and development programs in Africa, and for Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program. Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots in 1991 with a group of Tanzanian students. The youth program connects more than 150,000 young people in nearly 100 countries, equipping them to take action to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment. Today, she travels an average 300 days per year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope. In her speeches and books, she emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual action, urging her audiences to recognize their personal responsibility and ability to effect change. “Every individual matters,” she says. “Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”