Rafael Ponce graduated from the Mexican Naval Academy and served for 25 years in the Mexican Navy, on board destroyers and other vessels, and was CO of a hydrographic ship. Ponce retired from the navy as a captain. He holds an MSc degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and is a category A hydrographer. He was deputy director of the Mexican Hydrographic Office and has worked for Esri since 2007, where he is the company’s global maritime consultant.