Lewis-Burke was aware of the development of a provision in the 2018 tax bill to create Opportunity Zones, or census tracts with high unemployment rates, to qualify for investments from up to $6 trillion in untapped capital gains.

Realizing the potential for universities, Lewis-Burke forged new connections with the program officers at the Department of Treasury and outside organizations to inform the development of comprehensive strategies for clients on or near qualifying census tracts to engage with their governors for designation.

When the Treasury Department announced the designated Opportunity Zones later in the year, regions near several client campuses received certification. As a result of this proactive action, many of Lewis-Burke’s clients remain on the front-end of significant regional investment opportunities and priority consideration for federal funding opportunities across agencies.