Veteran economic development leader Lisa Mensah joins IMPACT 2017 speaker lineup

A veteran leader of economic development, Lisa Mensah previously served as Under Secretary of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A veteran leader of economic development, Lisa Mensah previously served as Under Secretary of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A veteran leader of economic development, Lisa Mensah previously served as Under Secretary of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. NCBA CLUSA is thrilled to announce that Lisa Mensah, President and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network, the leading national network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), will speak at the inaugural 2017 Cooperative IMPACT Conference as a panelist on "Co-op Financers Deepen Impact."

This panel will explore how different types of financial institutions—from those focused on start-ups to those that support larger, established cooperatives—deepen a co-op's impact for its members and communities. The panel will also consider economic trends co-ops are (or should be) a part of and examine how financing institutions are responding to the changing needs of co-op sub-sectors and working with partners to optimize the cooperative ecosystem. 

A veteran leader of economic development, Mensah's experience includes serving as the Under Secretary of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and leadership positions at the Aspen Institute and the Ford Foundation.

As Under Secretary of Rural Development for the USDA, Mensah 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.

Learn more about Mensah and our other IMPACT 2017 speakers here

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