Folasade Olanipekun-Lewis

Regional Director for Government Affairs and Air Service, American Airlines

Folasade (Sade) A. Olanipekun-Lewis is the Regional Director for Government Affairs and Air Service at American Airlines.

Previously, she was the Chief Administrative Officer of the Philadelphia International Airport. Prioir to her time at the airport, Ms. Olanipekun-Lewis served as the Chief Financial Officer for City of Philadelphia, City Council President, Darrell L. Clarke, she was responsible for providing a wide variety of financial and programmatic support to the Council President and members of his legislative body. This included facilitating City Council’s annual review of the City of Philadelphia operating and capital budgets and five-year plan. Ms. Olanipekun-Lewis also provided executive project oversight on councilmanic initiatives and special projects covering a broad range of municipal activities, including the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) program relating the reassessment of taxable realty, proposed divestitures of the city owned utility, Philadelphia Gas Works, Aviation five year capital enhancement program, and fiscal matter of the School District of Philadelphia.

Previously, she served as Deputy Commerce Director for Finance and Administration for the City of Philadelphia where she was responsible for managing the department's daily operations including finance, contract and program monitoring, human resources, office management and information technology services; and developing and implementing a project management system for the 10 economic development agencies, commissions and quasi-governmental entities that report to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

Ms. Olanipekun-Lewis also served as the Chief Financial Officer for the School District of Philadelphia where she oversaw a $1.9 billion budget. Prior to this, she was Director of Finance for the City of Birmingham, Alabama where she oversaw the administration of the City budget – a combined $580 million operating and capital budgets, and served as treasurer to numerous city agencies and boards, including the city's $900 million Retirement and Relief Pension System.

Ms. Olanipekun Lewis was the City Treasurer for the City of Philadelphia.  Prior to this, Ms. Olanipekun-Lewis was Director of Finance for the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Ms. Olanipekun-Lewis completed secondary school in Nigeria, West Africa; obtained an undergraduate degree in Economics from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, CUNY BA Program; a Juris Doctor degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law; and a Master degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, Fels School of Government.

Ms. Olanipekun-Lewis lives in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia with her daughter, Adeyemi.

Courses Taught

Course Section: 900
On-Campus Day(s): Friday, Saturday
On-Campus Time(s):

On-campus meetings for Summer 2017 will be on:

  • Fridays from 9:30am-1:00pm on May 19, June 23, and July 21
  • Saturdays from 9:30am-1:00pm on May 20, June 24, and July 22
Online Day(s): Monday
Online Time: 7:45pm-8:45pm
Course Description:

The Course, Critical Issues in Public Finance will consider contemporary issues affecting the fiscal state of local governments. Covered will be issues that have distressed municipalities; the policies/initiatives that seek to rectify such including privatization/public private partnerships; reformation of municipal pensions; sustainable education funding alternatives; and tax policies aimed at promoting economic growth. Students will be assigned to a team, which will identify and provide a solution for an issue or issues plaguing a fictional government.  Each team will prepare a written report and make a presentation all of which will constitute the final project. Assignments will serve as the building blocks for the final written work product and presentation developed by each team.

The class is divided into four modules. The first module will take a historical look at events behind fiscal distress in municipalities and then explore current day drivers that are causing the same today. Modules two, three and four will examine some of the tools that have been used successfully or otherwise to remediate the drivers of fiscal distress. In each module case studies will be used to further analyze the particular fiscal challenge of a municipality.  Written assignments will be based on case studies. 

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829