Our team is made up of hard-working professionals who are dedicated to improving the lives of young children in northern Ghana. In addition to those who have formal titles at Titagya, many volunteers are also doing incredible work for us in the areas of fundraising, web design, and curriculum development.
Safianu Mahama, Administrative Officer
Sorf joined Titagya Schools in 2011, in order to pursue his passion for making sure that young children become well-educated. He helps oversee the construction of new schools, carry out reporting, and ensure a high quality of teaching at existing schools. Prior to Titagya, he was the Assistant Country Director for Savannah Kids, an NGO which funds the education of orphans and children from economically poor families in northern Ghana. He was also a volunteer radio presenter with Simli Radio and currently holds board and advisory positions with the Dalun Youth Association and Youth Opportunity Partnership Programme. He is from Dalun and graduated with Honors in IT from the National Institute of Information Technology. He is married with two children.
Andrew Cisneros, CFO
Andrew leads Titagya’s finance efforts & is involved in accounting & fundraising. He is a partner at East West Capital Partners, a seed-capital and management advisory firm in New York, and also works with General Atlantic. Andrew has extensive experience working with start-ups and launching companies. Previously, Andrew was a consultant for PwC, where he focused on business valuations. Andrew’s past and present community roles include assisting as a volunteer instructor at various underserved elementary and middle schools, promoting financial literacy at an early age. Andrew graduated from Northern Michigan University with a B.S. in Accounting and Finance.
Board of Directors
Andrew Garza, Chairman
Andrew coordinates development and helps to set our strategic direction. He is also a Consultant at Bain & Company in South Africa. He previously advised businesses and a microfinance institution called Simli Pong in Ghana. He has also worked on small business development, food security, and housing projects in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Bosnia, Hungary, and Kyrgyzstan. He graduated from Haverford College with Honors in Sociology and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Skip West helps set strategic direction and is involved in a variety of areas in an oversight and advisory capacity. He is the Founder and President of Maxsa Innovations, a company that develops and sells innovative consumer goods. He also serves on the boards of The Consumer Electronics Association, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, and the National Science & Education Partnership. He graduated from Haverford College and earned his MBA from Stanford University
Dr. Alice Lesnick
Alice Lesnick is a Term Professor of Education at Bryn Mawr College and the Director of the Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program. In addition, she is the Coordinator of the Africana Studies and Child and Family Studies Programs at Bryn Mawr. She teaches courses including Critical Issues in Education, Literacies and Education, Qualitative Research, Empowering Learners: Theory and Practice of Extra-Classroom Teaching, and the Senior Seminar for students completing the Minor in Educational Studies. Her research interests include cross-cultural learning, experiential learning, action-based research, the role of technology in education, and teacher professional development. Before becoming a teacher educator, Professor Lesnick taught pre-school, third grade, and secondary English. She holds a Ph.D. in Reading/Writing/Literacy and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Yaw Boateng, Chairman
Yaw is a Partner at McKinsey & Company in Lagos, Nigeria. In addition, he is the President of Educational Accessibility for Children in Hardship (EACH) Foundation, a North Carolina-based non-profit that provides educational scholarships to economically disadvantaged Ghanaian high school students. He also previously worked as a math and science teacher in Ghana and as an education and healthcare advisor to the Bugando Health Center and Medical School in Tanzania. Â He graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Psychology and Economics and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dalun Titagya Schools
Mahama Abdul-Azeez, Head Teacher
Azeez has taught for two years at primary schools in the villages of Dalun and Kushigo. He has also volunteered for four years as the Secretary of the Dalun Youth Association, and he is also a Board Member of a local organization called Youth Empowerment for Life. He is passionate about helping young people in Dalun to reach their full potential. He completed his education in Tamale.
Nyamedo Charity Barakatu, Teacher
Barakatu previously tutored children in Dalun in English. She is from Dalun and is glad to be able to bring new educational possibilities to young children in her community. She studied at the Advanced School of Management and Accountancy Studies in Tamale and also completed a course in computer studies.
Alhassan Abukari, Teacher
Alhassan served for 12 years as an Assembly Member, where he championed the need for more electrification and access to potable water. He also previously taught primary school for 12 years at Dalun Nuriya E/A Primary School. He joined Titagya in order to gain experience with a more interactive form of teaching, and was inspired to do this by a 19th Century British M.P. who left government to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the British education system. Alhassan is also a volunteer radio presenter and producer at Simli Radio in Dalun. He is currently completing his Diploma in Basic Education at the Jackson Educational Complex.
Issah Yahaya, Teacher
Issah is passionate about teaching, and prior to Titagya he taught for three years at the Dalun Nuriya E/A Primary School. He is originally from Dalun and has become an active proponent of interactive early education. Apart from teaching, Issah also loves working on computers. He completed his education in Kumbungu.
Juliana Batawo, Teacher
Juliana previously taught for two years at Nyanshegu Excellence Academy in Tamale and subsequently at Kanvilli-Tuunaayili Primary School for another two years. She is passionate about organizing classrooms in such a way that they are optimal learning environments for children. Juliana is currently pursuing a Diploma in Basic Education at the Jackson Educational Complex.
Kpong Falcon Titagya Schools
Fuseini Hassan Iddrisu, Head Teacher
Iddrisu previously taught for four years at a primary school in the villages of Nabogu and Nakpanzoo, in association with the Edikanfo Progressive Foundation. He’s passionate about interactive education and dreams of becoming a renowned education professor in Ghana. He completed his education in Tamale.
Adam Abdul-Kadir, Teacher
Abdul-Kadir has a passion for teaching. As a result, he went into teaching right after his secondary education at a primary school in a village called Nabogu. He is working hard to be a recipient of the Best Teacher Award at the Basic Education Level in Ghana. He studied in Savelugu.
Sumaila Mariama, Teacher
Mariama hails from Kpong-Tamale and previously taught at a kindergarten for year. She also served as a secretary for five years at Kpong-Tamale Veterinary College’s laboratory. She loves children and is happy to be teaching at Titagya, where she has the opportunity to help groom the kids to become successful adults. She is married with two kids.
Abdulai Asia, Teacher
Asia previously taught at the Savelugu E/A Primary School. She also served as a facilitator for the School for Life program for two years. She completed her education in Savelugu and Bolgatanga and is currently finishing her Diploma in Basic Education at the Tamale College of Education. She is a native of Savelugu and is married with one child.
Board of Advisors
Sandeep D. Alva, Managing Partner, Portfolio Manager, founded Falcon Investments in July 2000. Mr. Alva was previously the President of Hancock Mezzanine Investments, LLC and Senior Managing Director and Mezzanine and Private Equity Team Leader of John Hancock’s Bond & Corporate Finance Group. While at John Hancock from 1985 to 1989 and 1991 to 2000, Mr. Alva executed numerous private market transactions, with an emphasis on mezzanine and private equity investments. In addition to his time at John Hancock, he also worked at the investment firm of Joseph, Littlejohn and Levy from 1989 to 1991 where he was a Principal involved in the acquisition of operationally and financially distressed companies. Mr. Alva has served on the Board of Directors of numerous companies, including current portfolio companies Ampac and WL Plastics. He received a Bachelor of Commerce
degree from Bombay University and an MBA from Cornell University.
Nana Baffour is a Co-Founder of Midas Medici Group Holdings, Inc. and has been its Chief Executive Officer since 2009. Mr. Baffour has been Managing Principal at Knox Lawrence International since 2004. He has an extensive background in investment banking. He was an Investment Banker of Credit Suisse First Boston in Europe and in the U.S. from 2000 to 2004, where he advised clients in the utility sector on mergers, acquisitions and capital financing. He serves as a Director of Iei Financial Services LLC and the Chairman of UtiliPoint International, Inc. He served as a Member of the Advisory Board of Consonus, Inc. He holds his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Lawrence University, where he was a Siekman Scholar, his Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina, and an MBA focusing on Finance and Accounting from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Theresa Cann is the Assistant Dean and Director of International Education at Bryn Maw College. She provides a broad spectrum of academic advising and other student life services to undergraduate students. In addition to academic advising, she directs the College’s study abroad program. She assists in identifying, negotiating, and managing partnerships with overseas institutions, and assists in formulating college policies on health & safety, crisis & emergency management and risk assessment in international education and exchange. She chairs the Bryn Mawr College Study Abroad Committee, and is a member of the Advisory Board of Aquincum Institute of Technology, Budapest. She received her B.A in French from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and a M.Ed in Student Personnel and Counseling in Higher Education from Widener University, Pennsylvania.
Samantha Ender is a Senior Development Officer at Partners In Health. She provides support and guidance to Partners In Health leadership donors in the New York metropolitan area, helping connect individuals, family foundations, and corporations with critical global health work in need of their partnership. She previously worked as Corporate Marketing Analyst at Evergreen Investments and served as a Dissemination Specialist of the Advance Africa Project at the Academy for Educational Development. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Amherst College and a Masters in Public Health from Boston University.
Pete Hartigan is the Founder & CEO of Trusted Ventures. He previously served as General Manager of Shared Services and Chief Community Officer at Social Finance, Inc. He has been President of Ektasis Inc. since November 7, 2006. Mr. Hartigan has been with Ektasis since June 2005 and served as its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Hartigan served as a Principal of Diamondhead Ventures. He was the Founder and served as Chief Financial Officer of Xperius Inc. He served as Principal at Keiretsu Venture Partners. He served as Chief Financial Officer and Development Officer of Mobius Venture Capital, Inc. Mr. Hartigan also served at Softbank Venture Capital and Battery Ventures. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was chosen by his classmates to receive the Arbuckle Award. He has B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Duke University.
Rachael Paulson is the Founder and Executive Director of Hands on the World Global, a non-profit organization that supports sanitation, water, and educational projects in the US, Ghana, and South Africa. She authored two successful children’s books about environmental conservation, and she travels widely to talk to schools about conservation. She previously spent 12 years in the classroom teaching at the early childhood level and developing programs for children with special needs.
Shivanee Raj is the Thorne Kindergarten Center Administrator. She graduated with a BA in Physiological Sciences from Oxford University before completing her Clinical training at University College London to obtain her medical degree. She worked as a physician in a variety of clinical settings in and around London, concentrating on Pediatrics as her specialty. Since moving to the USA, she has been working in the classroom, first as an assistant at Gladwyne Montessori and then at the Thorne Kindergarten. She has been the Administrator for Thorne since January of 2012.
Elon Spar is the Executive Chairman at TopLine Game Labs. He is the former CEO of Europe and Asia for Cantor Fitzgerald. He is on Haverford College’s Board of Managers and a leadership member of its International Council. Elon earned a BA in Political Science and Economics from Haverford and an MBA from Stanford University.
Ariana Hall, 2014 Dalun Community Fellow
Ariana worked as a Teacher’s Assistant and developed curriculum modules. She also co-organized a Family Day in Dalun.
Brandon Alston, 2014 Dalun Community Fellow
Brandon worked as a Teacher’s Assistant and developed curriculum modules.
Alizeh Amer, 2014 Dalun Community Fellow
Alizeh Amer served as a Teacher’s Assistant and developed curriculum modules.
Deborah Leter, Summer 2013 Intern
Debbie served as a Teacher’s Assistant in Dalun and created new curriculum materials. She also co-developed new art activities.
Ava Cotlowitz, Summer 2013 Intern
Ava worked as a Teacher’s Assistant in Dalun and developed curriculum modules. She also co-created new art activities.
Diarmaid King, Summer 2013 Intern
Diarmaid served as a Teacher’s Assistant in Dalun and created curriculum modules. In addition, he led new physical-education activities.
Esteniolla Maitre, Summer 2013 Intern
Esteniolla served as a Teacher’s Assistant in Dalun and developed curriculum modules. She also focused on creating new story-telling activities.
Clara Kang, Summer 2012 Intern
Clara served as a Teacher’s Assistant in Dalun and updated curriculum materials. She previously interned for 826LA, an organization that develops creative-writing skills among students in inner-city communities in Los Angeles. Clara is a student at Haverford College.
Falone Masudi Minga, Summer 2011 Intern
Falone interned for us from New York, where she focused on grant-writing and research. She previously interned at the Student Sponsorship Program, a South African non-profit organization. Falone is a student at Amherst College.
Cece Sizoo-Roberson, Summer 2011 Intern
Cece helped us develop curriculum modules and did research on new educational methods. She previously interned at the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), a U.S. charter school organization that works in traditionally underserved communities. Cece attended Haverford College.
Emma Yun, 2010 Intern
Emma developed fundraising materials for us and contributed to our website. She previously worked for the International Rescue Committee and is currently with Translations.com. Emma attended Haverford College.
Alison Crawford, Summer 2009 Intern
Alison served as a Teacher’s Assistant in Dalun and developed curriculum modules. She previously interned for the Special Education Department of the Wissahickon Charter School in Philadelphia and currently works for Teach for America. Alison attended Haverford College.
Chris Brandt, Summer 2009 Intern
Chris served as a Teacher’s Assistant in Dalun and filmed and produced a video about our work. He previously interned for the Gateway School, a school in New York with an accelerated curriculum that caters to students with special needs. Chris attends Davidson College