Conservation Influencers

Jane Goodall Institute

USA & UK, global

The eponymous Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) was founded in 1977 to protect chimps and their habitats. Ever since it has pursued other animal rights and related environmental and educational causes. But its most famous and, arguably, most prestigious project remains focused on the Gombe Stream Research Centre in Tanzania, which was founded more than 60 years ago to pursue Jane Goodall’s research into the lives of chimps. Today, JGI claims to have a presence in more than 30 countries and to employ more than 300 people. 

In 1991, JGI created Roots & Shoots, an initiative designed to connect young people located in more than 120 countries in order to improve, in its words, the ‘world for communities, for animals and for the environment’. 

In 2013, JGI created the Jane Goodall Institute Global (JGIG), which is based in the UK, whose purpose, according to its website, is to ‘bring the different JGI chapters and offices together for cohesive, efficient and effective community conservation across the world’.

In 2013, The New York Times and Washington Post exposed how twelve sections of Jane Goodall’s book Seeds of Hope, which they had been invited to review ahead of publication, had been lifted verbatim from third party websites. According to the Daily Beast, Goodall was also accused of presenting interview quotes said to other journalists as if they had been said to her. The publisher postponed the book launch to make corrections.

However, the Daily Beast reporter Michael Moynihan discovered when he read the published book that there were many more instances of plagiarism that had remained undiscovered by The New York Times, Washington Post and Goodall’s fact-checking publisher.


Senior management is led by Jane Goodall.


Large Global Board of Trustees chaired by Patrick van Veen. And in the USA there’s a Board chaired by Steve Woodruff. Furthermore the UK arm of the JGI has its own Board led by Goodall, who sits on all three boards.


According to its annual report, JGI USA’s expenses alone in 2018 amounted to USD19,335,525.00 and its revenue in the USA was USD17,077,838.00. 

About the directory

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.


Wildlife Conservation Society

In 1906, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) put an African man on display in Bronx Zoo’s Monkey House. In 1918, one of WCS’s founding fathers, Madison Grant, published Passing of the Great Race, which Adolf Hitler referred to as his ‘Bible’. Another leading creator and early leader of WCS, Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr, was also a founder of the American Eugenics Society. His son headed WCS from 1940 to 1968, overseeing a series of major initiatives in Africa. There, WCS became one of the architects of the prohibition movement, which put wildlife for consumptive use and vast regions of land out of bounds to humanity. In 2020, WCS distanced itself in public from the racist views of Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr. But it has yet to issue a critical account of the legacy of Fairfield Osborn Jr, even though he led WCS into the modern era while sharing similar politically-inspired ecological goals to his father and Grant. WCS devotes considerable financial resources to influencing outcomes at CITES. WCS’s CEO reportedly earns USD$1,320,978.