Lisa Mensah

President and CEO


Executive Team
(503) 227-6846

Born and raised in Oregon, Lisa Mensah joined 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 most recently leading Opportunity Finance Network.


Lisa Mensah serves on the Boards of Ecotrust, Feeding America, Fidelity Bank of Ghana, and Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (USA). She also serves as a member of the Advisory Committees of Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women and Gaia Impact Fund.


Ms. Mensah is widely considered an expert on access to capital in low-wealth communities and has frequently testified 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 country. Forbes and Morning Joe recognized Ms. Mensah as one of five women who has been safeguarding America’s small businesses throughout 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