Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe
CEO, Upshift Global
Quoted as a career and workforce development expert in Essence Magazine; a business thought coach in Black Enterprise Magazine; the New Jersey Business Journal; on Madame Noire.com, and in other publications, Dr. Anita Davis–DeFoe, has over 20 years of experience motivating, coaching, inspiring and transforming individuals and organizations. A graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Antioch University, Dr. DeFoe holds a Ph.D. in Management with a focus in Organization and Human Development. She has crafted and implemented myriad organizational and human capital programs aimed at assisting people of all ages to discover boundless unique strengths; to unleash their inner greatness. She is the CEO of Upshift Global which is a consultancy organization and knowledge incubator that serves individuals and organizations globally. Dr. DeFoe also serves as the General Secretary for the YWCA of the Virgin Islands. Dr. DeFoe is the Founder of the Circle of 99, a global community of strategist, doers, innovators, conveners, and change champions.
A John C. Maxwell certified mastermind group facilitator, speaker and trainer; Dr. Davis-DeFoe has authored over $500 million in grants which funded a range of youth, workforce, housing, education, domestic violence, entrepreneurship, gender-focused, leadership and community economic development programs across the United States, Europe, Caribbean and Africa.
In 2012, in honor of her global human development and social entrepreneurship work, Dr. DeFoe was named the first Woman Chief by the ITAM CLAN in Abwu Ibom State Nigeria. Additionally, she received the African Leadership Award from Voice Magazine in Amsterdam in 2014, and a 2015 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, with a mission to harness the talents of artisans and designers to create and market both cultural and couture fashion. In 2019, she was nominated as a Global Philanthropist by the Panache Global Entertainment (PGE) Awards in London.
She is the author of a rites of passage curriculum for girls entitled, Soulful One: For Girls on the Pathway to Greatness; and four books, A Woman’s Guide to Soulful Living: Seven Keys to Life and Work Success; Tropical Escapes, a novel; a children’s book, Kwabena and the Baobab Tree, and Follow Her Lead: Leadership Lessons For Women As They Journey From the Backroom to the Boardroom, cited as a must read by 2011 Echoing Green Social Entrepreneur Finalists. Dr. DeFoe is one of 40 contributing authors to “100 Words of Wisdom for Women,” a thirty-day workbook and journal for women. The Upshift Factor: 99 Strategies That Ignite Organizational Effectiveness is slated for release in 2020.
Anita speaks globally at conferences, retreats, seminars, and for special events spreading her inspirational messages, human development, social enterprise and personal life solutions designed to transform people, processes, programs and places.