A New Era of Discovery in Gombe Thanks to Disney Family Trust


On Thursday, October 10, The Walt Disney Family Museum hosted a celebration to honor the achievements of Dr. Jane Goodall at the museum’s historic location in the Presidio of San Francisco. The evening was made even more special with an announcement made by Kirsten Komoroske, Executive Director of The Walt Disney Family Museum for a $1 million pledge to the Jane Goodall Institute from the Ron and Diane Disney Miller Charitable Trust in honor of the upcoming 60th anniversary of Dr. Goodall’s pioneering wild chimpanzee research in Gombe National Park this 2020. This pledge is the inaugural contribution to the Jane Goodall Institute’s 2020 Gombe 60 campaign to secure the future of Gombe.

“The Museum is committed to providing arts, animation, and prioritized subject matter education to children, especially children in underrepresented populations,” said Komoroske. “The family and Museum look forward to a collaborative and productive partnership with JGI—jointly serving the arts, creativity, science, the planet, and future generations.”

“In all my lectures and books, I focus on reasons for hope. But today, it’s getting harder and harder to take that message of hope around the world,” remarked Dr. Goodall. “Todays’ young people—everywhere I go—they’re so excited and empowered. We’re listening to their voices. That gives us a reason to hope.”

Over the last six decades, Dr. Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute have established and maintained what is now the longest running study of wild chimpanzees in the world. Through critical work in Gombe, Tanzania, Dr. Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute have not only highlighted the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction, we have also redefined “species conservation” to put people at the center.

Dr. Goodall previously assisted with the launch of the Disney Conservation Fund, attended the opening day celebrations of Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, and has served as a conservation ambassador for Disneynature since the release of 2012’s Chimpanzee.

The Walt Disney Family Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by the daughter of Walt Disney, Diane Disney Miller. In tribute to Diane, proceeds from the fundraising event will support the next generation of creative and conservation-focused talent.


The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the fascinating story and achievements of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to the level of fine art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global, yet distinctively American legacy. Opened in October 2009, the 40,000-square-foot facility features innovative technology alongside a vast collection of historic materials and artifacts that bring Disney’s achievements to life. There is a myriad of interactive galleries, which present early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a spectacular model of Disneyland, and much more. The museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in the scenic Presidio of San Francisco.


The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

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About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Director of Storytelling & Marketing for Communications & Partnerships at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Jane Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission to create a better world for all by protecting the interconnections between people, other animals, and the environment. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, and is pursuing a Master's of Science in Environmental Science & Policy at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Environmental Justice. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, now a D.C. resident, she has a varied background including 10+ years of expert communications and digital marketing in the social and environmental non-profit sector. Her intersectional approach to this work has been shaped by a holistic world-view, having traveled to Madagascar and Ecuador for conservation research projects, leading communications for youth social justice filmmaking organizations, and as a part of several professional groups advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in environmental spaces including Greens REALIGN. With skills ranging from conservation fieldwork, policy and advocacy campaigns, strategic communications, art, digital media, and design, Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the magic of storytelling to transform hearts and minds. Through growing understanding, empathy, and justice, she is igniting positive change to create that better, more equitable world, every day.