Lana Mendis

Leadership Admin Coordinator

Lana serves as the Leadership Admin Coordinator at JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), overseeing the seamless operation of the Leadership Team’s initiatives. Her responsibilities encompass coordinating meetings, cultivating partnerships with vendors, and facilitating communication with JLUSA Leaders and Alumni. Despite being a Chicago, IL native, Lana has called Ohio home for nearly 17 years.In addition to her role at JLUSA, Lana dedicates part of her time to working with the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, contributing to the Chopping for a Change (C4C) program—a culinary arts initiative for incarcerated men and women.

Lana is a JLUSA 2022 Leading with Conviction alumni and is an active member of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ).Beyond her commitments, Lana has served as a mentor and ambassador for the Prison-to-Professional PhD (P2P) program, focusing on the STEM Opportunities in Prison Settings project. This collaborative effort with the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Washington, D.C., aims to develop a Speakers Bureau and Mentoring Working Group. Lana holds a BA in Leadership & Ministry in Pastoral Care and an MBA in Organizational Management & Administration.With an extensive background spanning nearly 20 years in the finance/brokerage industry in Operations, Compliance, Management, and HR, Lana has contributed her expertise to Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, and The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).

Her passion for advocacy and policy reform in the criminal justice system is deeply rooted in her personal journey, marked by overcoming obstacles, adversity, trauma, and challenges, including experiences of incarceration, severe child abuse, foster care, neglect, homelessness, and domestic violence. Lana is a resilient survivor and a dedicated advocate for positive change in the criminal justice landscape.