Lisa Mensah is President and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the nation’s leading network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Under her leadership, OFN helps CDFIs leverage public funding and private investment to bring affordable, responsible capital to rural, urban, and Native communities underserved by mainstream finance.
Since joining OFN in 2017, Mensah has attracted new visibility and investment to the CDFI field through programs like the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and OFN’s Finance Justice Fund, a $1 billion socially responsible investment with Twitter as the Fund’s first investor. Widely considered an expert on access to capital in low-wealth communities, Mensah frequently testifies before Congress. And recently, Forbes and Morning Joe recognized her as one of five women safeguarding America’s small businesses.
Prior to OFN, Mensah served as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development in the Obama Administration. Other career achievements include being the founding Executive Director of the Initiative on Financial Security at the Aspen Institute, managing the country’s largest philanthropic grant and loan portfolio of investments in rural America at the Ford Foundation and serving as a commercial banker at Citibank. She serves on multiple boards and advisory committees and holds an M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from Harvard University.