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Lisha M. Gomes is a Founding Member of the Black Achievement Fund since its inception in 1997 at the University of Virginia. Lisha served as the BAF's first Corporate Secretary and helped develop the BAF's first business plan and campaign strategy. For the past 20+ years Lisha has been an unwavering supporter of the Black Achievement Fund and the mission of Black economic independence. Currently, Lisha is Associate Director of Government & Legislative Strategies with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC. As a member of the firm’s Government & Legislative Strategies Team, Ms. Gomes assists and supports the government relations advocacy and lobbying efforts on behalf of the firm’s clients before local, state and

federal agencies. Prior to joining PLDO, she worked at Rhode Island Foundation managing the planning and execution of all internal and external events and major meetings, and served as a key point person and liaison with customers, partners and vendors. From 2011 to 2016, Ms. Gomes worked in the Rhode Island Office of U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline as Director of Scheduling & Special Projects and Senior Field Representative where she managed special projects and scheduling, constituency relations and outreach activities and executed events ranging from policy discussion roundtables to district-wide resource fairs and workshops. Previously, she worked at Textron, Inc. in the Mergers & Acquisition division and is a former director of the Rhode Island Urban Debate League, a Providence-based nonprofit organization that engages high school students in policy debate programs to improve academic outcomes and increase college readiness. Ms. Gomes has a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

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