Dr. Anita Davis DeFoe

Dr. Anita Davis DeFoe

She is an African-American leadership and social entrepreneurship consultant from the US Virgin Islands, with over two decades of experience in fostering social entrepreneurship and capacity building for youth in the Caribbean, Africa, and globally.

She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership Development from the University of North Carolina and Antioch University. Additionally, she has pursued Social Entrepreneurship coursework at the Copenhagen School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.

Anita is a National Career Development Association Accredited Career Services Mentor. She has created unique programs in leadership, expeditionary learning, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Agriculture, Mathematics (STEAM), entrepreneurship, employability, and training skills. These programs have served youth aged five to 24, assisting a diverse range of people across genders and generations to discover their innate greatness and unique strengths.

Championing the UN SDGs, particularly the goal of ending poverty by 2030, Anita focuses on mitigating youth unemployment and fostering ecosystems that enable career growth and opportunities.

An entrepreneur herself, Dr. DeFoe is the Founder and CEO of Upshift Global, a business growth and capacity building organization, and The Circle of 99 Global Foundation, Inc., a collective supporting innovation and change. She is also a quality management and project execution expert, as well as a John Maxwell Team Executive Director, providing technical assistance in process and change management and fund development to various organizations.

Anita has authored over $500 million in grants and project funding, enabling organizations to support their core missions, scale their businesses, and deliver outcome-based services. She believes strongly in the power of Social Entrepreneurship to balance societal and economic goals. Her book, “Follow Her Lead: Leadership Lessons For Women As They Journey From the Backroom to the Boardroom,” is a leadership development resource for women and girls, highly recommended by 2011 Echoing Green Social Entrepreneur Finalists.

Anita Davis-DeFoe has delivered management training programs to diverse constituencies, including government, venture capitalists, corporates, media, entrepreneurs, and non-profit professionals.

She has received numerous awards recognizing her community service and leadership, including the Community Service Award from the Broward Workforce Development Board in Florida, USA; the President’s Award for Service to TRIO Pre-Collegiate Programs in South Carolina, USA; Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (SAEOPP) Service Award-USA; African Leadership Award from Voice Magazine in Amsterdam; and the Social Entrepreneur Leadership Award from Naijaeutv in Spain.

Anita is a prolific communicator and author of several books, including “Soulful One: For Girls on the Pathway to Greatness,” “A Woman’s Guide to Soulful Living: Seven Keys to Life and Work Success,” “Tropical Escapes,” and a children’s book titled “Kwabena and the Baobab Tree.”

She has been featured in national and international media outlets such as The New Jersey Business Journal, The Miami Herald, The Belmont Banner, The Gastonia Gazette, The Charlotte Post, The Daily News, Purpose Magazine, IMDiversity, The Huffington Post, CaribVision, Madame Noire, Barbados Today, and various radio shows and networks.

Anita Davis DeFoe was born and raised in North Carolina. An educator and mentor at heart, she sees youth as the leaders of today and has motivated young people across Africa, Canada, Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean.