Derreck Kayongo was born January 25, 1970, in Kampala, Uganda, just before General Idi Amin Dada seized power in a military coup. The new regime became known for its brutality, and today Idi Amin is one of history's most notorious dictators. As violence spread through the country and civil war erupted, Kayongo and his family became refugees in Kenya. He later immigrated to America to attend university. Today, he is a successful entrepreneur and human rights innovator. Though most well known as a 2011 CNN Hero and founder of the Global Soap Project, Kayongo is an expert in environmental sustainability and global health, as well as the current CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2016 the Georgia State Senate passed a resolution recognizing Kayongo's incredible journey from refugee to CEO. In 2014, Kayongo joined the elite TED TALK speakers in Charleston, SC, and he travels the world sharing his knowledge and experiences. In his words, he is "giving voice to the voiceless" since many people affected by displacement and civil war never have a chance to be heard. Known for his optimistic energy, Kayongo is a joyful, expressive speaker whose stories entertain, educate and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds. He has done hundreds of interviews around the world and has been seen on CNN, the Christiana Amanpour Show and BBC's Focus on Africa. In December 2015, Bo Emerson of the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution referenced an earlier AJC article, writing that " In describing Kayongo's rhetorical skills, staff writer Matt Kempner wrote, "This is his greatest strength: getting people inspired to see the bigger picture. Convincing them that even the little guy can do something big.""