Ayana Lewis L’12
Ayana Lewis is Executive Director of the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Strategic Partnerships (OSP). In this role, she identifies and helps manage partner support of the District’s 200+ schools and develops initiatives to better align partner programs with District priorities and expressed school needs. Ayana also co-led a cross-departmental effort to restructure and streamline District policies to increase partner compliance with state law, to help ensure the sustainability of their critical work in schools. As OSP’s point person on college and career readiness partnerships, she collaborates with many of the city’s most prominent post-secondary prep organizations to strengthen and expand their work in schools and was recently presented with the “College Access Ambassador Award” by the New Covenant Church of Philadelphia. Ayana was also a 2018-19 Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellow, where she advocated for legislation requiring
the inclusion of mental health literacy and awareness instruction in K-12 curriculum. She is currently an active member of the Chester Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s Social Action Committee.
Prior to joining the Philadelphia School District, Ayana worked as a litigation attorney at Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP, where she also represented abused and neglected children as a volunteer child advocate. Before attending law school, she served as Program Coordinator and Retention Specialist for the Harlem Children’s Zone’s (HCZ) College Success Office. At HCZ, Ayana developed
retention programs for hundreds (now serving thousands) of underserved college students to ensure their successful integration into, and graduation from, higher education institutions.
In 2012, Ayana earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, as well as a certificate in cross-sector innovation from UPenn’s School of Social Policy & Practice. While in law school, Ayana established the Penn Law Black Law Student Association’s first Advocacy Chair position, and more recently pushed for the Penn Law Black Alumni Association to institute an Advocacy Committee. As a law student and Community Liaison in Penn Law’s Leaders in Education Advocacy and Reform Network (LEARN), she also developed a special education awareness program for parents of children with learning disabilities with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP). Ayana received her B.A. in sociology from Spelman College in 2006. Ayana and her husband Michael Lewis spend much of their free time chasing after their two spunky, fearless daughters, Zala and Zuri Lewis.