Dr. Anita Davis DeFoe
She is an African-American leadership and social entrepreneurship consultant from the US Virgin Islands, fostering over two decades of social entrepreneurship and capacity building for the Youth in the Caribbean, Africa with a global outlook and outreach.
She holds a Ph.D. in Organization Behavior and Leadership Development from the University of North Carolina and Antioch University, and Social Entrepreneurship coursework from the Copenhagen School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.
A National Career Development Association Accredited Career Services Mentor, Anita has created and crafted unique programs for leadership, expeditionary learning, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Agriculture, Mathematics (STEAM), entrepreneurship, employability and training skills that have served youth from ages five to 24, assisting a great diversity of people across genders and generations to discover their innate greatness and unique strengths.
Championing the UN SDGs, especially for ending poverty by 2030, Anita puts her efforts behind mitigating youth unemployment and joblessness by way of uplifting Skill sets, Mindsets and fostering ecosystems enabling career growth and opportunities for youth.
An entrepreneur, 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 global collective of doers, builders, innovators and change champions. A quality management and project execution expert, and a John Maxwell Team Executive Director, Dr. DeFoe provides technical assistance to organizations in the areas of process and change management and fund development.
She has personally authored over $500 million in grants and project funding enabling a host of organizations to support their core missions, scale their businesses, and deliver outcome -based services to their audiences. A great believer 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, a leadership development book for women and girls, was cited as a must read by 2011 Echoing Green Social Entrepreneur Finalists.
The two Social Entrepreneurs winner shared that the book provided them with insights and tools to enhance their leadership and managerial competencies. A visionary transformative leader, Anita Davis-DeFoe has delivered management training programs to diverse constituencies including in government, venture capitalists, corporates, media, entrepreneurs and non-profit professionals.
She received 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, Social Entrepreneur Leadership Award from Naijaeutv in Spain for designing global social enterprises aimed at providing opportunities for individuals to create pathways out of poverty, and for connecting rural livelihoods to global markets. A profound and prolific communicator, Anita is the author of many books: a rite of passage curriculum for girls entitled, Soulful One: For Girls on the Pathway to Greatness, a program designed to support the personal, career and leadership development of girls; A Woman’s Guide to Soulful Living: Seven Keys to Life and Work Success; Tropical Escapes, a novel; and a children’s book, Kwabena and the Baobab Tree.
She has been featured in The New Jersey Business Journal, The Miami Herald, The Belmont Banner, The Gastonia Gazette, The Charlotte Post, The Daily News, Purpose Magazine, IMDiversity, The Huffinton Post, CaribVision, Madame Noire, Barbados Today, The Morning Talk Show in Miami, Citizen Radio-Antigua, FOX, CW Network, The Sister to Sister Radio Show in Miami, HER Radio-Philadelphia, Montserrat Radio, Cayman Islands Radio and many more national and international media. Anita was born and raised in North Carolina.
An educator and mentor in heart and spirit who sees the Youth as the Leaders of the Now, she has motivated young people across Africa, Canada, Europe, and across the United States and the Caribbean.