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Isha Datar

Executive Director

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Isha has been pioneering the field of cellular agriculture since 2009, when she began a deep-dive investigation into the technical challenges and opportunities involved in producing cultured meat. In 2010 Isha published "Possibilities for an in-vitro meat production system" in the food science journal Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies.

She quickly discovered that cellular agriculture research was not held back by a lack of interest or expertise, but instead by a lack of designated funding channels directed at this intersectional work. Thus began her quest to establish the field of animal products made without animals, one recognized by researchers, funding agencies, and investors.

A stint in Policy and Public Affairs at GlaxoSmithKline illuminated the cooperative relationship between non-profits, academia, and companies in translating beneficial science out of the lab and into society. Isha has used a model established in the advancement of medical research to accelerate cellular agriculture, by funding early stage, foundational research in academia in order for ready-to-market technologies to be developed for commercial use.

Isha became Executive Director of New Harvest in January 2013. She co-founded Muufri, making milk without cows, in April 2014 and Clara Foods, making eggs without chickens, in November 2014.

Isha has a BSc. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Toronto.

Isha enjoys rooftops, houseplants, long walks through the city, and the freedom of not owning a car.

 

Paige Wilcoxson

Chief Operating Officer

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Paige is Chief Operating Officer at New Harvest. A psychologist, by training, she joined New Harvest after spending more than 10 years in higher and executive education as a professor, academic administrator, and learning experience designer. As Managing Director, Curriculum and Learning Design at Singularity University, she oversaw curriculum strategy and the design of programs focusing on exponential technology, innovation, and social impact for entrepreneurs, executives, and Fortune 500 companies. Paige has a strong background in systems thinking and operations improvement and she uses her unique background to create and grow positive organizational culture, processes, and experiences.

Meera Zassenhaus 

Communications and Media Manager

Meera has been involved in cellular agriculture since 2015 when she was New Harvest's second intern. She has a BA in Economics and Philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis.

Meera likes Taco Bell and being on wheels of any kind. 

 

 

 

 

Lanto Hariveloniaina

Operations Manager

Lanto joined New Harvest in 2018 and brings international experience from his career as educational and cultural exchange program coordinator for Madagascar and Comoros targeting academics, scientists, government officials, religious leaders, and youth activists.  

After graduating with a degree in Anglophone Studies from the University of Antananarivo, Lanto spent 27 years coordinating the United States Department of State's educational and cultural exchange programs in Madagascar including the Fulbright program. His tenure at United States Embassy equipped him with a thorough understanding of program management and administrative support operations, especially contract, grant, and database management as well as efficient collaboration between the requisite departments to host events attended by the U.S. ambassador, diplomatic community, and high-level government representatives.             

Lanto is fluent in Malagasy, English and French. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his three boys and playing soccer. 

Jeremiah Johnston

Research Program Director

Jeremiah joined New Harvest at the end of 2019. Before, he had worked in science education for a number of years teaching a biomedical engineering lab course at a summer enrichment program. In-between summers, he would take on various and sundry freelance work for fact checking and textbook publishing.But before that, he was in graduate school where he received a M.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University. In graduate school, he became involved with science communication and outreach, particularly in preparing spoken lectures for interested lay people. His interest in outreach goes all the way back to his undergraduate days at Gettysburg College (B.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) where he discovered the singular joy of interdisciplinary research and learning how to talk between scientists, researchers, and problem solvers of all stripes.Jeremiah never wants to stop learning and is motivated by work that has an impact beyond his life alone. The work at New Harvest — the chance to engage with research and researchers that share these goals — is what makes him brings him to work each day.

Michela Caffrey

Art Production Associate

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Michela Caffrey is the Art Production Associate at New Harvest. She officially joined the team after having worked on design as an intern and volunteer for the 2018 and 2019 New Harvest conferences, respectively. Michela is fascinated by the field of science communication and uses her graphic design knowledge to promote cellular agriculture.

She also enjoys exploring new parts of NYC by foot and alphabetizing her spice cabinet.

Board of Directors

Scott Banister

Scott built his career by identifying new markets and shaping innovative products for them. In 1995, he identified search engines as a significant advertising medium and invented the first products to automate marketing across multiple search engines, ultimately creating the bid-for-placement business model. As an initial investor and Director at PayPal, he was a co-inventor of the 'email payments' product now widely used on eBay. In 2000, Scott saw opportunity in the rapid growth of email traffic, co-founding IronPort Systems and serving as CTO. Scott is now a successful angel investor with past or present investments in Zappos, Ekso Bionics, Practice Fusion, ClassPass, Bell Biosystems, Bridge International Academies, Moon Express, Postmates, Thumbtack, and Uber.

Karien Bezuidenhout

Karien is an advocate for openness and supporter of social entrepreneurs. She has played various roles within the Shuttleworth Foundation, facing new challenges and learning every step of the way. She now focuses on the Shuttleworth Fellowship Program - engaging with issues of openness and social change, identifying potential investments and working closely with Fellows towards realising their vision.

She is a native of the Eastern Cape, South Africa, and the smell of rain after a dry spell still makes her think of home. She believes elephants have noble hearts and is passionate about their protection and conservation. It is rare for a meme to pass her by, she always knows what's up in the collective mind of the Internet. Karien studied business and economics at the business schools of the University of Stellenbosch and University of Cape Town. 

Vince Sewalt

Vince Sewalt leads the Regulatory Science & Advocacy function of DuPont’s Nutrition & Biosciences business unit. A graduate education rooted in agriculture in the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, the Dominican Republic, and the US, combined with post-doctoral research in biotechnology in Canada and the US prepared Sewalt well for a holistic approach in bioscience innovation in several US companies. Vince is passionate about ‘appropriate technology’ for a sustainable food supply, and this includes capacity building in safety assessment and regulatory oversight for bioscience applications around the globe. Throughout his career, Vince has served as advisor to a variety of organizations, including oversees development volunteers, college programs, think tanks, and even NASA. He readily shares his insights in conferences, publications, and round table workshops, and with trade associations and regulatory agencies. Vince also enjoys mentoring, good conversations, reading, learning, hiking, cycling, exploring new music, and watching Dutch soccer. Last but not least, Vince is a proud father of four and grandfather.

John Pattison

John serves as New Harvest's Treasurer and is CEO of Cultured Decadence, a cellular aquaculture startup creating novel methods to make crustacean products using cell culture and tissue engineering techniques. Previously, he was Director of Operations at New Age Meats. John worked in the US and China in various operations and consulting roles before serving as an Army officer with the 25th ID. He received his BA in Economics from UW-Milwaukee and MBA from NYU-Stern. 

Andras Forgacs

Andras Forgacs, Co-Founder and CEO of Modern Meadow, is a serial entrepreneur in deep tech and life sciences. He is leading the company into a new age of biofabrication to transform the material world by unlocking the power of nature. Andras is also co-Founder of 3D bioprinting company, Organovo. Previously he held positions with an international technology-focused venture fund, McKinsey & Co., and Citigroup. Andras is founding chairman of the international non-profit Resolution Project and was a Kauffman Fellow with the Center for Venture Education. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Harvard University. Named as a 2018 Tech Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, Modern Meadow has created a novel platform of biofabricated materials at the frontier of biotechnology and partners with some of the world’s most thought-leading brands to offer design that contributes to a healthier planet.

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