Temitayo Ifafore-Calfee-MPH, PMP


Global South Solutions started as Temi’s dream project in 2016. She noticed a growing dissatisfaction among workers in the health sector. She decided to do something about it. Leveraging over 13 years of global health care management experience, she started Global South Solutions to work with entry and mid-career health professionals to help them make a career pivot in the health sector.Temi discovered her passion for coaching as Operations lead for a healthcare startup, where she endeavored to make it a “best place to work”.  Prior to that she was a Health Workforce Technical Advisor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), one of the world’s largest multilateral donors, where she provided technical leadership on human resources for health and health systems strengthening and oversaw multi-country, $100M+ implementations.She has also held senior roles in public health workforce development program as National Program Director for Health Career Connection, healthcare operations at Johns Hopkins Medicine International in Panama, and global health as Regional Director for the William J. Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative in Ethiopia.  Mrs. Ifafore-Calfee received her M.P.H. from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and B.A. from Yale University.  She has also attained her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

The Interview

Tell me a little about yourself both professionally and personally?

  • Born in Nigeria, and raised in the Bronx, I’ve always loved two things: travel and healthcare. As a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. In college, I discovered the world of public health, and afterwards,I started my career as a hospital manager. You can imagine how proud my mother was to tell her friends that doctors reported to me!
  • Eventually, I was able to combine my loves of travel and making people healthier by having a fulfilling career in global health.

What is one thing both professionally and personally somebody would find interesting to know about you?

  • Personally: I’m not waiting for retirement to see the world; I’ve travelled to over 35 countries, and spent the last 4 out of 5 years working abroad. I’m an adventurer who’s fed a hyena with my teeth in Ethiopia, was on national television in Panama, and went paragliding in Nepal.
  • Professionally: Out of a 14 year career, 4.5 years is the longest I’ve ever stayed at a job. I’ve always been willing to relocate for a position. This has led to me living in 7 cities and 3 countries over my career.

What inspired you to be an entrepreneur and in particular to start your own career consulting business?

  • I have always been fascinated by entrepreneurship, but felt it was too risky to go out on my own. One Christmas my sister got me a subscription to Inc. magazine. As I read about other entrepreneurs, I thought, hey, I can do this. I still worried about money, so I decided to start a healthcare consulting  business while I had a job.  The vision evolved from helping physicians and private practices with brand management to career coaching.

What is special about your background in Healthcare and how you can help your clients in their careers?

  • Living overseas forced me to grow and develop high levels of emotional intelligence in order to connect with people across cultural and language barriers. This global perspective opened my eyes to new ways of inspiring people to be their best.  I also saw the variety of things that people did with their careers.  My background uniquely prepared me to help people remove the boundaries that prevent them from having a fulfilling and meaningful careers.

Where do you see healthcare going in regards to career potential?

  • Healthcare technology is growing. Health care providers, administrators and practices will need to embrace this technology to differentiate themselves from others.
  • There is a growing role for non clinicians. Health systems are ever more tech savvy and are looking for ways to better connect with patients. This means that there will be career opportunities for non-clinical professionals: especially marketing, customer service, supply chain, IT, and social media.

What advice would you give to anyone with a special talent and wants to start their own business?

  • Talk to a lot of people! Often times when we have an idea, we worry about criticism. However, any time I spoke to industry experts, and others that built their own businesses, they provided great feedback.
  • Start with something you know, then branch out – having a special talent puts you in a unique niche as a subject matter expert. Use your insider knowledge to hone your target audience. You know the players and the rules of the game. Use it to your advantage. Starting a business is risky, so why not stack the deck in your favor.

 Temi Ifafore-Calfee, MPH, PMP works one-on-one with entry and mid-career professionals to get unstuck and make a career pivot in the health sector. Send her a message on her LinkedIn page if you're in need of career coaching.