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Touched by seeing and interacting with senior citizens who were virtually imprisoned in nursing homes in her home town of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ashifa understood her calling early in life. Her belief in health as a core right for everyone can be traced back to these experiences.

Early in her career, Ashifa assisted in psychology research and worked directly with the differently-abled, inner-city youth, African and Eastern European refugees, the American Red Cross International Services, and the Dean of her graduate school. On completing her master’s degree in social work with a focus on international health from Washington University in St. Louis - the country’s best program - she made a career move to India. There she spent over eight years focusing on women and children’s health in the field. From associations with local non-governmental organizations in Mumbai to being an independent consultant with the likes of the World Health Organization and UNICEF India, Ashifa worked on a plethora of health topics including maternal and newborn health, strengthening urban health systems, child under-nutrition, and quality of health care. Her roles involved technical writing, communications, research, monitoring & evaluation, and data management (see Work for details).

Working abroad in a developing country, Ashifa has a firsthand knowledge of the complexities and intricacies of health systems. And her years in the field have shown her how policy and protocols play out in practice. Upon her return to the USA in 2014, she started using her decade’s worth of ground-level experience and applying it more strategically. She is taking her skills and adapting them in order to have a global impact on programs and policies - and ultimately on people.