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Eva Mends; Trailblazing Finance Leadership as Chief Director of Ghana’s Ministry of Finance

For the past 31 years of her tenure in the Ministry of Finance, Eva Esselba Mends has consistently embodied her mantra of continuous improvement and proactive leadership in driving change.

Upon completing her undergraduate studies in Political Science with Economics at the University of Ghana, Legon, Eva Esselba Mends commenced her career by joining the Ministry of Finance, Ghana, in 1991 as a National Service Person.

Unlike many who conclude their one-year service and seek opportunities elsewhere, Eva Mends has since worked in the Ministry of Finance and has consistently risen through the ranks, showcasing exceptional achievements in her career.

Eva Esselba Mends is currently the Chief Director for the Ministry of Finance and the second woman to occupy that role. Before her initial role, she served as the first female Director of Budget from May 2017 to January 2019.

With vast experience in her field, Ms. Mends has held various positions within the ministry including serving as the Head of The Americas Desk in 1998, Head of Budget Development in 2006 and Group Head of Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms in 2013.

In her capacity as the Head of the Americas Desk, Ms. Mends spearheaded the Technical team responsible for Ghana’s qualification for the First Millennium Challenge Account. She was also part of the Technical team that developed and managed the Multi–Donor budget support programme.

As the Head of Budget Development, she facilitated the establishment of the Fiscal Decentralization and Budget Reforms Unit of the Ministry. Under her leadership, significant reforms were implemented, encompassing gender-responsive budgeting, Programme Based Budgeting, and more recently, the development of the groundbreaking Public Financial Management Act.

She again progressed from the role of Assistant Economic Officer to ultimately attain the position of Chief Economic Officer.

Ms. Eva Esselba Mends is a Public Financial Management (PFM) expert and has extensive experience in Economic and Public Policy Formulation and Analysis, Budget Management, Aid Management, Fiscal Decentralization and Social Protection.

She possesses an Executive Master in Public Administration from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and has undertaken numerous courses over the years including those pursued at esteemed institutions such as Harvard and Duke Universities.

She served as a speaker for Springboard and held board member positions in three public institutions: Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Tourism Authority, and the Ministry of Transport Ghana.

In 2016, Ms. Mends earned the Finance Woman of the Year award and received civil service honors in 2021.

The journey of Eva Esselba Mends is one of resilience, expertise, and commitment to excellence. As the current Chief Director, she continues to shape the financial landscape with her visionary leadership, leaving a permanent mark in the Ministry.

By: Esther Adwoa Gyanwah Karikari / Instinct Business Magazine

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