OFN President and CEO Lisa Mensah Assumes New Leadership Role in Home State of Oregon

Today OFN shares the news that President and CEO Lisa Mensah has accepted a position as CEO of the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF).

Lisa sent a message to OFN’s network about the transition earlier today.

Lisa Mensah headshot

“Effective September 2022, I will assume the role as OCF’s CEO, marking the beginning of a new leg on my professional journey for economic opportunity and justice – this time in my home state.

OCF is a $3.5 billion foundation with a huge opportunity to do good in every corner of Oregon. Like you I am a believer in the power of place and community — for me this sense comes from growing up in Oregon. I am excited to return home to link arms with other Oregonians and feel hope in the work to improve this beautiful part of our nation.

While I look forward to returning home, it also brings me great sadness to say goodbye to a powerful chapter in my life as the leader of OFN — I have such an abiding love for OFN and CDFIs and moving away from leading this network is very hard.

At OFN, I have been able to put my passion for community development to work. I have been able to fight for the people of America who deserve to live and work in thriving communities but lack economic opportunity. Serving at OFN and working with its nimble, compassionate, purpose-driven staff and board, members, partners, funders, and investors have enabled me to pursue my calling both professionally and as a human being.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to lead OFN during these past five challenging yet impactful, and joy-filled, years — and it is not without painstaking consideration that I take this next step to leave OFN and begin a new role at the OCF.

I will begin in mid-September in Oregon, but I will be with you at OFN’s Annual Conference in New York in October. More than that, I will be with you all in the life work that unites us — building strong, thriving communities, advancing economic opportunity, and fighting fearlessly for economic justice for all Americans.

I look forward to staying in touch and seeing the new heights our OFN network reaches in its next chapter. My sincere thanks to Beth Lipson for her willingness to serve as OFN‘s Interim President and CEO while the OFN Board and Leadership Team conduct a national search. I also send deep gratitude to Donna Gambrell for her ongoing leadership as our OFN Board Chair as both lead OFN through this transition.

And my deepest gratitude to you for keeping your eyes where they must always be – on justice, on inclusivity, on our humanity.

Our network is strong, our members are powerful, and our staff is a tremendous group of fearless advocates who can only succeed going forward. My deepest thanks to you all. Here’s to the future!”

OFN Board Chair Donna Gambrell says of the news:

While OFN has so deeply valued Lisa’s vision, action, and advocacy for the CDFI industry, we also understand the strong pull of home and the calling Lisa feels to put her tenacious spirit and profound expertise and knowledge to work for people and communities in the place where she was born and raised.

We are grateful for Lisa’s leadership over the past five years and are excited that in her new role she will continue to work toward more broadly shared prosperity for rural, urban, and Native communities.

Read the OCF press announcement.

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