He has built teams of over 1000 full time staff and managed operations around the world, creating positive impacts for millions while empowering people to make the world a better place.
His remarkable journey started in 1995 at 12 years of age. Craig discovered the story of a boy his own age who was murdered after escaping child labor, which inspired Craig to create his first charitable organization “Free The Children”. As a teenage guest on the Oprah Winfrey show, Craig received a spontaneous pledge from Oprah to help build 100 schools. The gift was accompanied by millions in scale-up funding and the extraordinary opportunity to learn from Oprah’s mentorship.
Programs grew to empower 200,000 students with education, 30,000 women through alternative income programs and provide access to healthcare and clean water to more than one million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Craig and his brother Marc started WE.org with the mission to nurture active local and global citizenship in youth around the world. The organization offers comprehensive service-learning programs to 160,000 educators empowering students to take action on causes that resonate with them and directly benefit local and international communities. The charity hosted over 130 WE Day events in stadiums and arenas, welcoming 1.5 million student attendees who earned their entry after completing 40 million hours of service. Special guests included leaders such as His Holiness Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Elie Wiesel, Jane Goodall and as well as pop icons such as Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez and Demi Lovato, with primetime broadcasts on ABC, CBS, CTV and Hulu.
The charity’s service-learning programming includes AP with WE Service, a partnership to integrate the charity’s service-learning framework into the College Board’s AP courses. The program is available in all 50 US states and provides the only on-transcript service verification when applying to US colleges.
Now, harnessing over 25 years of experience in mobilizing people to make a difference, driving movements to create scalable social change and building mission-driven brands, Craig is sharing his learnings and leading a team that partners with philanthropic visionaries to build movements.
Craig is a New York Times bestselling author, who has published 12 books. Craig has a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Toronto, and he is the youngest-ever graduate of the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program. He has received 15 honorary doctorates and degrees for his leadership in education and human rights.
Craig has received The Order of Canada, the Nelson Mandela Freedom Medal, and the World Children’s Prize. He was also voted by Canadians as one of Canada’s top most trusted influencers in a Reader’s Digest poll, and along with his brother Marc, was named Canada’s Top Most Admired CEO in the public sector. The Halton District School Board in Canada renamed one of its schools the Craig Kielburger Secondary School.