My name is Erfa and I am a connector, a collaborator, a storyteller, a change agent, and a coach.
quotes I like related to the work I do:
“Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.”
"You could not stop a thunderstorm but you could use the electricity"
images that inspire me include birds, lighthouses, bees, sailboats, compasses, anything implying connection or creation
Over the coarse of an incredible and rewarding career (as an advocate, a management consultant, a strategist and change specialist, a corporate policy executive, and an international trade negotiator) I have been regularly confronted with the realization that success in a changing environment is almost universally determined by personal and interpersonal factors – the amount and quality of clarity, focus, engagement, relationships and buy in.
This realization started my journey to executive coaching. Today I am an iPEC (Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) Certified Professional Coach, a Master Energy Leadership Index Practitioner and a certified COR E. Dynamics Specialist in Performance, Leadership and Transitions. I am passionate about helping leaders who work in and with organizations and industries undergoing significant and fundamental change – whether is change in leadership, in mandates, in business models, corporate restructuring or the introduction of disruptive technology – to create new opportunity and build a stronger foundation for future success.
My resume – because we are all shaped by the experiences we have had and the people we have worked with (I have been incredibly fortunate on both parts)
Prior to this I spent 5 years as Liaison Officer and Deputy Head of Mission of the Aga Khan Development Network in Uganda with responsibility for Rwanda and Burundi, and acting as AKDN’s liaison with the East African Community. The programmatic work of the Aga Khan Development Network includes medical centres, advanced nursing studies, education, financial services, rural electrification, hydro-power plant generation, pharmaceutical manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, media and aviation. In my capacity I held direct responsibility for executive level government relationships, identification and analysis of new development opportunities, issue resolution, strategic communications, and the coordination and advancement of overarching priorities.
Both prior and subsequent to my work in Uganda, I represented the Province of Ontario in international trade negotiations for: the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (with a focus on the interests of the province’s strategic sectors – automotive, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, steel, cleantech, ICT and life sciences), the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, the pan-Canadian Agreement on Internal Trade, the Ontario-Quebec Economic Cooperation Agreement, and the Canada-US Government Procurement Agreement.
I began my post law school professional career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LL.P., a multi-national professional services firm where I was a lead the Alternative Service Delivery and Program Evaluation practices for Canada. I then joined the Business Consulting Services group at IBM in the Strategy and Change Practice where I worked until joining the public sector.
I am a widow (I know a little bit having your world, your identity and your master plan unexpectedly pulled out from under you. I also know what its like to have to find your way when you are scared and heartbroken.)
I am the mother of two teenagers (I understand complicated relationships and shifting power structures)
I throw epic parties (Fun is absolutely one of my core values. I also know it’s the big things and little things that make all the difference)