Educator. Interdisciplinary Researcher. Social Entrepreneur.

Brief Bio

Professor Mimi Nartey is an educator, interdisciplinary scholar, author, speaker, philanthropist, and social entrepreneur.  She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology and a graduate degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University in the City of New York.  She completed her doctoral studies at UCLA in Community Health Sciences with a Comparative Education minor.

Mimi holds a lecturing appointment at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and adjunct faculty positions at Occidental College and LMU. She is a women’s empowerment scholar, and her primary research focus is women's health in sub-Saharan Africa.  Her research experience includes developing anti-malarial drugs; using climate forecasts to predict disease epidemics; developing interventions for maternal and child health in sub-Saharan Africa; and using soccer to promote health.

Mimi is passionate about integrating science and philosophy to teach and promote social justice.  She has been involved in pioneering new approaches to address social problems such as gender and racial inequality.  She is the Founder and CEO of RCAP (Race, Class, and Parenting), which is a marketplace of ideas for women who are thought-leaders and influencers to engage in dialogue on social dynamics and parenting in communities of affluence.

Mimi was formerly a professional soccer player.  She was a silver-medalist in the 2002 African Women’s Cup of Nations, and she represented Ghana in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.  In 2016, she was invited to give a TEDx Talk entitled, "African Women's Soccer and Empowerment: Memoirs of a Black Queen."

Mimi is married to Kofi N. Nartey, MBA (luxury real estate broker and television personality).  In 2018, she and her husband co-founded The Nartey Sports Foundation to support sports-related interventions for underserved youth. The couple was  named a "2018 Los Angeles Power Couple" in Angeleno Magazine and LA Confidential Magazine.  They live with their two precocious children, Liya and Lincoln, in Playa Vista, CA.

 

Extended Bio

Mimi's initial interest in public health took form when she became infected with malaria while training in Ghana with the Ghanaian Women’s National Soccer Team.  At that time, even with the privileges appertaining to a professional athlete and national team member, she directly experienced the difficulties in accessing necessary medical treatment in an underdeveloped country.  Following that experience, she decided to choose an academic route that would prepare her to work towards limiting the proliferation of infectious diseases and promoting health in this vulnerable region of the world.

Mimi is committed to conducting research that will bring attention to under-studied health issues, to refining research methodologies in the field, and to developing creative programs to improve human health in underdeveloped countries.  She also is dedicated to working in academic settings where she can share her passion for these causes through teaching. 

She has been strategically working towards this focus for over a decade.  In 2000, she received a fellowship to work on the development of anti-malarial drugs with Dr. Michael Riscoe at the Northwest VA Medical Research Center in Portland, Oregon.  After earning  her bachelor's degree in Environmental Biology from Columbia University in 2003, she made history by becoming the first American-born soccer player to represent Ghana in a World Cup and the first female Ivy League graduate to compete in this world class event.  Following the preventable death of her teammate’s daughter in Ghana that year, she began to realize the significance of community-based approaches in circumstances where socio-environmental factors can compound health risks.

In 2005, she earned a Master’s degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University.  The interdisciplinary nature of that program enabled her to explore topics beyond the purview of her prior research.  However, she felt that she needed to pair her very specific training with more general knowledge of African development and public health practice.  Accordingly, she decided to pursue advanced degrees in Community Health Sciences (Ph.D.) and African Studies (M.A.) at UCLA in 2008. 

To date, Mimi has presented and published academic papers, and she has received three noteworthy fellowships.  Most recently she co-authored a paper entitled, “Families Affected by HIV” (in Translational Behavioral Medicine), and she contributed a chapter to a textbook entitled “Women Worldwide: Transnational Feminist Perspectives on Women” (McGraw-Hill Publishers).

Working at the UCLA Semel Institute, Mimi has contributed to grant applications, research projects, and publications related to maternal and child health and women’s empowerment.  She has used her sports experience to help develop interventions using soccer for health promotion in South Africa.  In 2013, she collaborated with a research consortium on the Women's Health Study of Accra (WHSA) at San Diego State University’s International Population Center.  In 2014, she contributed to "Pathways to Choice," a research program on empowerment initiatives for girls in Northern Nigeria, jointly supported by the Center for Girls Education and the UC-Berkeley Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability.

Mimi has managed to balance her development as a researcher with her development as an educator.  In the past few years, she has represented the UCLA Fielding School of Public health as an invited guest speaker at professional conferences, on panels, as a workshop presenter, and a keynote speaker at the University of Miami, The California Wellness Foundation, North Carolina State University, UC San Diego, the America Public Health Association, and UCLA.  She has designed and taught several undergraduate lectures and seminars at the UCLA Institute of the Environment, at the UCLA Anderson School of Business, at Loyola Marymount University in the Department of Health and Human Sciences, and at Occidental College in the Department of Urban and Environmental Affairs and Department of Kinesiology.  She has been recognized by UCLA for her contribution to undergraduate education.

Mimi has served in many elected and appointed positions in the UCLA community including the Student Health Advisory Committee Appointee, Students of Color for Public Health Co-Chair, School of Public Health Diversity Coordination Team Co-Chair, Community Health Sciences Doctoral Student Representative to Faculty meetings, and Graduate Student Mentor.  She has made it a priority to give back and reach back to help improve the education pipeline, particularly for minority students and under-represented students.  

She has served in her local community as a board member for St. Bernard Catholic High School, as the appointed leadership of the Parent Engagement Group at Playa Vista Elementary School, and as a volunteer soccer coach in AYSO Region 18.  Mimi has also served as a consultative board member for Swan Within, Inc. (a non-profit using ballet as an intervention for sex-trafficked, incarcerated teenage girls) and as a player development consultant for the Philippines Women's Water Polo Team.

Mimi is passionate about integrating science and philosophy to teach and promote social justice.  She has been involved in pioneering new approaches to address social problems such as gender and racial inequality.  She is the Founder and CEO of RCAP (Race, Class, and Parenting), which is a marketplace of ideas for women who are thought-leaders and influencers to engage in dialogue on social dynamics and parenting in communities of affluence.

 Her diverse experiences, ability to consider problems from an interdisciplinary perspective, connections through common culture and languages, personal motivations, diligence, and solid academic preparation have placed Mimi in a unique position to make meaningful contributions in the field of Public Health, and especially in the African context.  In 2016, she was invited to give a TEDx Talk entitled, "African Women's Soccer and Empowerment: Memoirs of a Black Queen."

Mimi is married to Kofi N. Nartey, MBA (luxury real estate broker and Television personality).   In 2018, she and her husband co-founded The Nartey Sports Foundation to support sports-related interventions for underserved youth. Their first annual charity gala raised The couple was named a "2018 Los Angeles Power Couple" in Angeleno Magazine and LA Confidential Magazine.  They live with their two precocious children, Liya and Lincoln, in Playa Vista, CA.