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Low Income Investment Fund Appoints New General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer


The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) today announced the appointment of Denise Noel as General Counsel and Executive Vice President, and Panagiota Mahendru as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Vice President for the national nonprofit organization.

“I am excited to welcome Panagiota Mahendru and Denise Noel to LIIF’s leadership team,” said Daniel Nissenbaum, CEO of LIIF. “They bring a wealth of knowledge in their respective fields that will ensure the sustainability and growth of our organization. Both are dynamic leaders and will make an immediate impact to help us work towards our strategic priorities of creating communities of opportunity, equity and well-being.”

As LIIF’s General Counsel, Noel will oversee LIIF’s corporate and board governance, legal matters and risk management functions. In addition, as General Counsel, she will chair LIIF’s internal loan committee. Noel brings extensive knowledge of the community development financial institution (CDFI) industry as she previously served as Legal Counsel to the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund, where she managed a range of high-level responsibilities, including the implementation of the Bond Guarantee Program. She will be based in LIIF’s Washington, D.C. office.

“Throughout my career, I have intentionally worked to develop the legal structures that support the equitable deployment of capital to communities and individuals. Becoming LIIF’s General Counsel is a continuation of that commitment. I am excited to stay connected to this industry by working at a CDFI of LIIF’s caliber,” said Noel. Noel will start at LIIF on April 18. Noel follows Patricia GoPaul who retired from LIIF after serving as General Counsel for over 5 years.

Based in LIIF’s New York office, Mahendru will provide strategic leadership for the fiscal infrastructure that supports LIIF’s programs, business activities and the organization’s growth as CFO. She brings over 20 years of global hands-on experience building and leading finance teams in for-profit and nonprofit companies. Previously, Mahendru held the CFO role at the Center for Employment Opportunities, a national nonprofit with over 6,300 employees operating in 31 cities and 12 states providing comprehensive employment services to thousands of individuals who have recently returned home from incarceration. She also worked at Housing Works, a nonprofit addressing AIDS and homelessness with a diversified revenue model in the areas of housing, health and retail. Mahendru will join LIIF at a pivotal time as the organization’s total assets under management exceed $1.8 billion on a consolidated basis, S&P rated it ‘A’ stable, and its early child care and education business has doubled in size.

“Working to build out a sustainable financial structure for organizations that make true impact in our communities has driven my career,” said Mahendru. “Joining an organization like LIIF that is financially rigorous while deploying capital to communities historically excluded from traditional financial markets was a perfect next step for me. I’m excited to see the growth and impact we can accomplish.” Mahendru will start with the organization on April 8. Mahendru succeeds current interim CFO, Art Fatum, who will return to consulting within the sector.