Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Tara Stoinski of Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Is Helping To Change Our World

Yitzi Weiner
Authority Magazine
Published in
12 min readMar 3, 2022

Try to find that elusive work-life balance. It’s easy, when you work in the nonprofit world, to let your job consume you, because the job is important, the work is never-ending, and the person doing the work is passionate about it. But you need space to live — to pursue hobbies, to spend time with friends and family. The work will always be there. Make time to live outside of that.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”,I had the pleasure of interviewing Tara Stoinski.

Dr. Tara Stoinski serves as President and CEO and Chief Scientific Officer for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Prior to taking on the CEO role in 2014, she worked with the Fossey Fund for 13 years in a scientific capacity. Tara has studied gorillas for more than two decades and is the author of over 100 scientific publications and books. Her work has been featured in numerous press outlets, including National Geographic Magazine, CNN, and NPR. She holds degrees from Tufts University, University of Oxford and the Georgia Institute of Technology and is an adjunct professor at Emory University. Dr. Stoinski also serves in a number of leadership positions within the conservation, primate and academic communities.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Growing up, I always thought I’d become a veterinarian. But after I finished my master’s degree, I had an opportunity to go to Africa to study animal behavior, and that changed my whole trajectory. Instead of going to vet school, I went back to school to pursue my PhD. I began studying primates, found my way to the Fossey Fund, and here I am, with the best job ever.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

Yitzi Weiner
Authority Magazine

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator