Marc Kielburger

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Marc Kielburger
Born 1977
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Harvard University (A.B.)
University of Oxford
Known for Co-founder of Free The Children and Me to We
Spouse(s) Roxanne Joyal[1]
Children 2
Relatives Craig Kielburger (brother)

Marc Kielburger, CM, OMC (born 1977) is a Canadian author, social entrepreneur,[2] columnist, humanitarian and activist for children's rights. He is the co-founder, with his brother Craig, of Free the Children, an international development and youth empowerment organization; Me to We, a social enterprise that provides socially responsible products and services; and We Day, an annual youth empowerment event. On March 31, 2010, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada by the Governor General of Canada.[3]

Early years and education[edit]

Kielburger attended Brebeuf College School (Toronto), and Neuchâtel Junior College (Neuchâtel, Switzerland).[4] While at Brebeuf, he was a participating member in their debate club and participated in debates run by the Ontario Pro-Con Debating Forum.[5] At 13, through a program for school credit organized by Fintan Kilbride, Kielburger volunteered in Jamaica with at a hospice for teenage mothers and a home for elderly homeless people who suffered from leprosy.[6][7] A year later, he won the award for Best Junior Project at the Canada-Wide Science Fair for his project on alternative home cleaners.[8] At 18, he volunteered for eight months at an AIDS hospice in the slums of Bangkok, Thailand.[9] He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, completing a degree in International Relations. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and completed a law degree at Oxford University, with an emphasis on human rights law.[10]

Activism and social entrepreneurship[edit]

Kielburger is the co-founder of Free the Children, an international charity and educational partner. The organization has worked in 45 countries and built more than 650 schools and school rooms in developing regions, providing education to more than 55,000 children daily.[11] Kielburger co-founded Me to We, a social enterprise that provides socially responsible products and services, and donates half of its net profits to Free The Children.[12] He also co-founded We Day, an annual youth empowerment event for more than 200,000 young people, held in large stadiums in cities across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.[13]

Kielburger and his brother, Craig, contributes a weekly regular column about social activism around the world called "Global Voices" for several Canadian newspapers and Huffington Post Canada online. The brothers also produce a weekly column on socially conscious living called “Living Me to We” in the Postmedia newspaper chain and online at They also write a column for The Globe and Mail, “Have your say”, that asks experts and readers for solutions to social issues.

Recognition and awards[edit]

Kielburger is the recipient of many honours, including the Order of Canada and selection by the World Economic Forum as one of the 250 Young Global Leaders. For his work in the field of education and human rights, he has received nine honorary degrees, including an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Toronto in Spring 2011.[14][15]

  • Youngest person ever to be awarded the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship[16][17]
  • At the time (2004, aged 27), he became the youngest to be selected as one of Canada's "Top 40 Leaders Under Forty"[18] (In 2006, aged 23, his brother Craig became the youngest.)
  • Honorary doctorate from Capilano University for his outstanding contributions to poverty alleviation and global youth development.[19]]
  • Honorary doctorate from Nipissing University for his work in leadership development[20][21][22]
  • Toronto Catholic District School Board Alumnus of the Year Award, 2005-2006[23]
  • Honorary doctorate of law from Carleton University for his exemplary leadership in the promotion of the rights of children and the promotion of ethical living and social responsibility.[24]
  • Inducted into the Order of St. Jean de Brebeuf at Brebeuf College School in 2012.
  • Received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.[25]
  • Inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame, 2013


  • Me to We (with Craig Kielburger, 2004)
  • Take Action (with Craig Kielburger, 2002)
  • Take More Action (with Craig Kielburger, 2008)
  • Making of an Activist (with Craig Kielburger, 2007)
  • The World Needs Your Kid (with Craig Kielburger, 2009)
  • Global Voices: Volume 1 (with Craig Kielburger, 2010)
  • Living Me to We: The Guide for Socially Conscious Canadians (with Craig Kielburger, 2012)
  • The Power of We Day: Moving the World from Me to We (with Craig Kielburger, 2013)


  1. ^ Turnbull, Barbara (March 9, 2009). "Their love is built on helping others". The Toronto Star. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Neuchâtel Junior College website Archived May 29, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.; accessed April 23, 2014.
  5. ^ Ontario Pro-Con Debating Forum, retrieved April 23, 2014 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-08-21. 
  7. ^[permanent dead link]
  8. ^[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-08-21. 
  10. ^ Marc Kielburger profile Archived February 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed April 23, 2014.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2015-08-21. 
  13. ^[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-21. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-07-03. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  16. ^ Duke of Edinburgh's Award breakfast 2006-04-26.[dead link]
  17. ^ Meet Marc Kielburger Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Tamarack Community Learning Centre
  18. ^ Top 40 Under 40 Archived March 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. The Globe and Mail, 2004-04-30
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-02-03. , Capilano University
  20. ^ "Activist brothers to receive honorary doctorates from Nip U" Thursday, June 9, 2005. Archived January 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Marc Kielburger Archived October 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Marc Kielburger Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. National Bank Financial
  23. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  24. ^ Carleton University Awards Nine Outstanding Canadians with Honorary Degrees Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Carleton Newsroom, May 15, 2012
  25. ^ "Diamond Jubilee Gala toasts exceptional Canadians". CBC. June 18, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 

External links[edit]