Our Team

Our Founders and team

Prince Boateng
CEO & Co-Founder

Prince Boateng is an international development professional and a Naval Reserve Officer who serves as CEO and Co-Founder of AgroFides. Prince has a decade and a half of leadership experience in the U.S. Navy and U.S.Agency for International Development (USAID), leading large teams and managing complex, multi-million-dollar programs. At USAID, Prince serves as a Contracting/Agreement Officer in the area of food security and agricultural development. Prince serves as a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves attached to U.S. African Command. He engages with U.S. Government and African navies colleagues to address illicit activities, including piracy, illegal fishing and bunkering, and trafficking. His work helps to improve coordination, collaboration, and capacity building between African navies and U.S. Navy. Prince is also a Ph.D. candidate at UMASS Boston, where he is researching smallholder farmer marginalization and the promise of information and communication technology (ICT) in agriculture. He is an affiliated expert on food and national security at the U.S. Naval War College’s Civil-Military Humanitarian Response program. Prince’s experience also includes working as a financial planner at Ameriprise Financial.

Prince was born in Ghana and grew up in both Ghana and Brooklyn. Prince is married, has two little girls, and enjoys long-distance running and other endurance sports.

Mike Hickey
CTO & Co-Founder

Mike Hickey is a software developer with a passion for open source software. After attending the New Jersey Institute of Technology, he helped found radiotakeover, an early streaming music service for independent artists and labels. He went on to work as a Software Developer at Nontoxic Group, Indie Merchandising, Jakprints, 27 Cubes, Sprokets and Compose[d]. Mike enjoys focusing on the process of increasing software quality though the adoption of community supported standards, best practices, and other workflow improvements.

Mike grew up in New Jersey and migrated up the east coast to the Boston area with his wife. He is also a father, runner, crossfitter, homebrew enthusiast and dog lover.

Acheampong Atta-Boateng
CSO & Co-Founder

Ache is a complex bio-system scientist and entrepreneur with leadership experience in startup founding and advisory roles on nonprofit boards. As Research Director, he led a joint research team at Yale University’s School of Architecture, Environment, and Engineering and Applied Sciences to build the world’s first patented carbon storing Cooling Tower (thermoGreenWall™). Ache’s graduate research at the Yale School of the Environment focused on Legume Stress Physiology and Bio-stimulants with successful trials in the arid Savannah region of Northern Ghana. He received advanced postgraduate training at the Yale SEAS in Mechanical Engineering & Material Science, investigating Heat and Mass Transfer in Porous Materials. At the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Ache uses empirical and simulation models to understand the linkages between physiology and pollination ecology to optimize sustainable cocoa production in Ghana. Ache is a pioneer and a leading investigator of the novel non-hormonal Bio-stimulant growth promoter. His research interests span plant physiology, agroecology, biophysics, and ecological engineering. He has over a decade of experience in hands-on rural agricultural extension projects for poverty reduction across seven regions in Ghana.

Sanjay Mirchandani
Country Director Ghana

Sanjay is an agricultural economist who previously served as Chief Risk Officer with the Agricultural Development Bank of Ghana. Sanjay has many years of experience in Risk and Compliance in the financial sector, particularly in Agriculture financing.

Sanjay also served as the General Manager of Afric Xpress Ghana Limited, a FinTech Company, acting as an aggregator for various billers in Ghana. He works as a consultant, offering training, business development services, management, and advisory services in Ghana.

Sanjay is licensed by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) as a Trustee. Currently, He sits on the board of three pension fund schemes with a combined asset under management (AUM) of over $10 million. He serves as the board chair on two of the schemes.

Sanjay’s key strengths are financial governance, Risk and Compliance, Business Strategy, Anti-Money Laundering, Project Management, and adoption of best business practices. For over sixteen years, he worked for the Agricultural Development Bank, Ghana, serving in a managerial position for up to eight years within the Credit Management and Recovery Department and the Risk Management Department.

Katie Anne Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager

Katie Anne Hayes is a marketing professional focusing on digital communication and media relations with experience in the humanitarian field. Her professional expertise entails preparing and publishing media materials and information to increase brand awareness. She also prepares initiatives for web content and social media campaigns and in-depth analysis of digital performance. She holds a high understanding of digital tools and technologies that aid in content production and distribution. Following her graduation from the College of the Holy Cross, where she studied Psychology and Spanish, concentrating in Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean studies, she joined the international humanitarian organization Oxfam. At Oxfam, her work focuses on communication and public engagement, with a specific emphasis on media and public relations. She grew up in the greater Boston area but has spent time traveling and studying in Latin America.

Our Board and Advisors

Ramon Matas
Advisory Board

Ramon Matas is a Principal Machine Learning Research Engineer at Arm, the semiconductor and software design company that makes the world's most used microprocessor family. Before Arm, Ramon was a CPU/GPU architect at Nvidia and Intel.

Ramon has 15 years of experience in the semiconductor industry and a track record of very successful products, including the most advanced microchips at the time of release. He holds several patents and a key contributor to the product definition and development of all the processors currently used in the top 10 most powerful supercomputers in the world.

For the last few years, Ramon has been focusing on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, applying his knowledge in High-Performance Computing and computational linear algebra to advance this fascinating field. As a member of Arm's MLRSH, Ramon works on neural network optimization techniques for ARM devices. His interests and expertise range from distributed and federated training with privacy guarantees, neural architecture search, and model deployment to hardware accelerators, AI systems, and algorithms for real-world applications. Ramon brings a wealth of technical support for the suite of innovations that enable AgroFides to conduct its mission.

Chris Rawley
Advisory Board

Chris Rawley is the CEO and Founder of Harvest Returns, an online marketplace for investing in agriculture. Chris has held corporate management roles in Jones Lang LaSalle, Electronic Data Systems, L-3 Communications, and served as a defense consultant at Special Operations Command headquarters. He has invested in real estate and income-producing agriculture for nearly two decades. Rawley is an angel investor in early stage agriculture and food companies, including the Indian FinTech start-up Jai Kisan. As a Captain in the United States Navy Reserve, Rawley is Chief of Staff for the Naval Reserve Surface Forces, helping to oversee 3,800 sailors supporting fleet units around the world. During his 28 year military career, Rawley has filled a variety of leadership positions in naval, expeditionary, and joint special operations units afloat and ashore. He has deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Western Pacific. Rawley has a degree from Texas A&M University, earned an MBA at George Washington University, and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College.

Maria Ivanova
Advisory Board

Maria Ivanova is international relations and environmental policy scholar. She is Associate Professor of Global Governance, Director of the Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program, and Director of the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is also a visiting scholar at the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Her work focuses on the performance of international institutions, implementation of international environmental agreements, and sustainability. Ivanova’s career, marked by teaching excellence and policy leadership, has bridged academia and policy. Her academic work has been recognized for bringing analytical rigor and innovative input to the international negotiations on reforming the UN system for environment. She works closely with national governments, UN agencies, and convention secretariats in providing an academic perspective into their international environmental governance work. She has been studying the United Nations Environment Programme and her book, The Untold Story of the World’s Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty, was published by MIT Press in 2021. Her current work examines national performance on global environmental conventions, and she engages with countries in East Africa to inform policy.

From 2014 to 2016, Ivanova served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. In 2020, she began a four-year term on the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme. She is also an Andrew Carnegie Fellow and the Chair of the Board of the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). She serves on the External Advisory Board of the Environmental Solutions Initiative at MIT, on the Sustainability Advisory Council at Yale University, on the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative (C2G2) Advisory Group, and on the Board of the Millennium Institute.

Ivanova served as a coordinating lead author of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5), the flagship UN environmental assessment. She is also the editor of the Governance and Sustainability Issue Brief Series and of the Global Leadership Dialogues and serves on the editorial board of the Global Environmental Politics journal.

From 2005 to 2010, Maria Ivanova was on the faculty at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. Previously, she worked at the Environment Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris and at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in Stockholm.

Ivanova holds a PhD (with distinction) and two master’s degrees, in international relations and environmental management, from Yale University, and a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College.