Taylor Lewis (MPAff '20): 'The Dean's Certificate in State and Local Finance program was the best decision I made as an LBJ student' | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

During the 2019–20 academic year, the LBJ School introduced the inaugural Dean's Certificate program, offering students the opportunity to delve deeper into two areas: state and local finance, and data science and policy analysis. The certificates students an additional credential that can help set them apart from others venturing out into the public policy arena.

Taylor Lewis (MPAff '20), Kathryn Abercrombie (MPAff '20) and Dashiell Daniels (MPAff '20) are the first three LBJ students to earn the Dean's Certificate in State and Local Finance. Just before commencement, Lewis took a moment to tell us about his experience with the program.


Taylor Lewis: Committing to the Dean's Certificate in State and Local Finance program was the best decision I made as a student of the LBJ School. The program's curriculum gave me broad exposure to the fundamentals of public finance while also allowing me to hone my knowledge in the more specialized areas of governmental accounting, financial statement analysis, and the municipal securities industry.

The structure of the program's curriculum was especially conducive to my growth in the area of state and local finance, as the foundational course (Public Financial Management) prepared me exceptionally well for my internships with the city of Austin's budget office, the city's Office of Performance Management and the Municipal Advisory Council of Texas. Serving in these roles while simultaneously taking courses in urban economics, government revenue policy and innovative public financing techniques further supplemented my internship experiences and made me a more valued member of these teams.


"Not only did the Dean's Certificate in State and Local Finance program equip me with the skill set needed for entry into this field, it also gave me a newfound curiosity for public financial management that will stick with me throughout my career."

After taking Dr. Martin Luby's Financing the State and Local Government Sector, I was inspired to pursue a career in the municipal bond industry, and during the Spring 2020 semester, I was fortunate to have been offered a position with Jefferies Financial Group in Dallas. Starting in June, I will be working with Jefferies's Texas underwriting team to assist local governments and nonprofits in finding favorable financing solutions for their diverse operating and capital needs.

Not only did the Dean's Certificate in State and Local Finance program equip me with the skill set needed for entry into this field, it also gave me a newfound curiosity for public financial management that will stick with me throughout my career.