Lisa Mensah

Incoming President and CEO


Executive Team

Born and raised in Oregon, Lisa Mensah joins Oregon Community Foundation in September 2022, following an illustrious career that has taken her from working on rural poverty with the Ford Foundation to serving as an Under Secretary for Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, managing a $215 billion loan portfolio, to currently leading Opportunity Finance Network.


Lisa Mensah serves on the Board of Ecotrust, as well as the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, Bank of America National Community Advisory Committee; Morgan Stanley Community Development Advisory Committee; Capital One Community Advisory Council; and Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women Advisory Council. She also sits on the boards of Fidelity Bank of Ghana and Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa-USA and the Gaia Impact Fund Advisory Council.


Ms. Mensah is widely considered an expert on access to capital in low-wealth communities and frequently testifies before Congress on the subject. The media and others look to her as a voice of authority on the CDFI industry, finance’s role in social, economic, and racial justice, and the need for more equitable capital access across the U.S. Recently Forbes and Morning Joe recognized Mensah as one of five women safeguarding America’s small businesses during the pandemic.


Lisa Mensah holds an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from Harvard University. Born in Oregon, she is the daughter of an immigrant from Ghana and a former Iowa farm girl.

“Money scattered in a dark place brings light.”

Ghanaian Proverb