OFN is delighted to announce the appointment of our new president and CEO, Lisa Mensah. As a veteran leader of economic development—whose experience includes serving as the Under Secretary of Rural Development for the USDA and leadership positions at the Aspen Institute, Ford Foundation, and Citi—Lisa brings extensive experience in the public and private sectors as well as a deep commitment to sustaining and growing the CDFI industry.
"Our country urgently needs the money, skill and experience of community development financial institutions as we seek to bring jobs, housing, and opportunity back to rural and urban America,” said Lisa. “I'm excited to have the chance to lead a network of loan funds, credit unions and community banks, which are so critical to achieving the country's full economic promise."
As Under Secretary, Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Lisa managed a loan portfolio of $215 billion, directing annual investments of $30 billion in critical infrastructure for rural America, and generating $120 million in private grants and loan guarantees for persistently poor communities in rural America. She achieved record levels of productivity by developing new partnerships with private and philanthropic partners. During her tenure, she also worked to provide 40-year capital for CDFIs serving rural communities through the USDA’s Community Facilities Relending Program.
Lisa’s appointment comes after the OFN’s Search Committee and its partner firm Korn Ferry met with a dynamic and impressive pool of candidates over the past few months. After a brief finalist period, the OFN Board of Directors unanimously selected Lisa. She will officially assume her new role on March 15.