Rafferty was born in Mexico City and came to the US when she was 15 years old. She earned a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in French from Emory University. Previously, she has worked as a Molecular Biologist within the Malaria and Entomology Branch from 1991-2001. Currently, Raferrty is a Molecular Biologist in Entomology Branch, under the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and offers molecular support to PMI CDC staff and PMI countries in sub-Saharan Africa.