Keynote Speaker John Bul Dau

John Bul Dau

Genocide Survivor and Motivational Speaker

  • Speaker's U.S. Fee Range
    $7,500 - $10,000 i
  • Languages Spoken
    English
  • Travels From
    Virginia, USA

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John Bul Dau’s Key Accomplishments Include . . .
John Bul Dau has experienced challenges in his life that most people never imagine. Born in war-torn Sudan, Dau is one of 27,000 “Lost Boys of Sudan,” driven from their villages when the northern Arab government attacked the ethnic minority population of Southern Sudan in 1987. For the next five years, John Bul Dau led groups of displaced boys across Sudan for hundreds of miles facing starvation, disease, and violence.

While living in a Kenyan refugee camp, John Dau attended school for the first time at the age of 17and earned a prestigious Kenyan Certificate for Secondary Education. In 2001, Dau was selected to immigrate to the United States and settled in Syracuse, New York.

Why John Dau

  • My life provides the ultimate example of a profile in courage. I’m a natural leader who exemplifies true resilience and perseverance under the most horrific of circumstances. As a compelling motivational speaker whose life is defined by my uncompromised commitment to having a lasting impact on the future of my native country. I share this with my audience and I’m sure all of my audience members go out with something they will remember and help them during difficult times.
  • My speech will make struggles in your life seem so minute. The torturous childhood I have had would make my audience problems feel light and will give you an idea on how to tackle them.
  • You want to hear from someone who has endured unimaginable hardship and who not only survived, but succeeded as a leader far beyond expectation .

Following his initial culture shock, John Bul Dau took on two jobs, earned an associate’s degree and has become an American success story. Currently the President of the John Dau Foundation, he is an influential part of many efforts to bring hope and peace to the people of Southern Sudan, founding three nonprofits and raising over $700,000 to build a medical clinic in his home village.

John Bul Dau co-authored his first book, God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir, in 2007 and has received many prestigious awards including the National Geographic’s “Emerging Explorers” award.

John Bul Dau is also featured in the award-winning documentary, God Grew Tired of Us, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

John Bul Dau’s life provides the ultimate example of a profile in courage. He is a natural leader who exemplifies true resilience and perseverance under the most horrific of circumstances.

Today, John Bul Dau is a compelling motivational speaker whose life is defined by his uncompromised commitment to having a lasting impact on the future of his native country. “I think people refuse to try things because they fear failure,” he observes. “There have been many impossible situations in my life, but I keep trying. My family in Sudan thought I was dead and I feared they were dead, but 20 years later we were reunited. You can’t give up.”

More About John Dau . . .
John Dau is an experienced social entrepreneur. He has founded three non-profit organizations. In 2003, he helped establish The Sudanese Lost Boys Foundation of Central New York which raised funding for books and medical expenses for Lost Boys living in the United States and was instrumental in founding the American Care for Sudan Foundation which solicited funds to build and operate the Lost Boys Clinic in Southern Sudan.

John Bul Dau speaks on a variety of topics at corporations, churches and colleges, including an address to 10,000 people at the University of Minnesota’s College of Arts and Sciences graduation and top executives at a United Technologies Corporation conference.

Testimonials 3

  • “Mr. Dau is a true leader, inspiration, a real star. I have never been so moved by a speaker. I feel inspired to make a difference in the world.”

    Syracuse University Student

  • “John is a great example of what one person can accomplish with the attitude and skills; I was in awe listening to him speak and will remember this forever”.

    “His story is inspiring and gives a sort of meaning to what this class is all about: giving back to those who need it most”

    “I would definitely recommend John Dau to come back next semester! His speech was so inspirational & truly shows how much of a difference one person can make”.

    “The thing that struck me most was the fact that he didn’t let his experiences hold him back . . . he used them to make a difference”.

    “John has dedicated his life to giving back to South Sudan; he remarkable and his passion is commendable”.

    Students Comments from Syracuse University

  • “His journey is incredible and the ability to overcome that and still want to give back is simply astonishing. He’s a kind, pervasive, gentle giant who cares for humanity”.

    “The best speaker I have ever heard in my entire life. Tells vivid stories and keeps everyone interested”.

    “I think it would be a shame if a class didn’t have the opportunity to see John Dau speak again”.

    “He makes me feel like I should try harder”.

    “His discussion of how important a public policy can be was completely relevant”.

    “He was able to balance seriousness and humor to stress his points”.

    “He really had a lot of commentary about policies and great first-hand knowledge of the effects of policies”.

    “He said public policy is how to help change the lives of others”.

    Students' comments

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