Learn More About CEO Derreck Kayongo

Derreck Kayongo

Chief Executive Officer


Derreck Kayongo and his family fled a civil war in Uganda and settled in Kenya as refugees. He then found his way to the U.S. where he became a successful entrepreneur as the founder of the Global Soap Project, a program which takes partially used soap from hotels, recycles them into new bars of soap, and redistributes the new bars to vulnerable populations around the world.

Prior to founding the Global Soap Project, Kayongo worked for the American Friends Service Committee as Program Director of the South African Peace Education program until he joined Amnesty International as Regional Director. Kayongo continued his humanitarian and human rights work at CARE International where he served as Regional Field Coordinator for the South East Region in the policy unit.

Kayongo's Global Soap recycling enterprise has partnered with Clean the World to create recycling plants in Las Vegas, Orlando, and Hong Kong with new recycling plants forecast for China and Italy. Today, the Global Soap Project’s distribution operation is active in over 90 countries and the list of participating countries continues to expand. Within the Global Soap Project Recycling program there are over 5,000 membership hotels in the United States alone. The Global Soap Project has given away more than five million bars of soap to refugees, including people affected by humanitarian disasters like the 2010 Haitian Earth quake that left over 100,000 people dead and the recent Ebola health crisis in West Africa.

The Global Soap Project earned an endorsement from the American Hotel and Lodging Association in 2013. Kayongo has won several awards including CNN's Top Ten Heroes award in 2011 and the prestigious MAXX entrepreneurship award. His highest accolades include receiving the Certificate of Congressional Recognition by Congressman John Lewis and accolades from Noble Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu for his work with Global Soap.

Kayongo has been featured as a TEDx speaker and at several corporate and university forums. He recently coauthored, “The Roadmap to Success,” with Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Ken Blanchard. Within this work, Kayongo focuses on Understanding the Instructive Power of Failure When Building Successful Ventures.

Kayongo has also been a guest on several news programs including the Christiana Amanpour Show and BBCs Focus on Africa. Currently he’s at work on a new book, scheduled to be released in 2016, that focuses on how he found his calling in life as a former refugee.

Kayongo is a graduate of the prestigious Fletcher school of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Watch Derreck Kayongo's TEDx Talk below!