F. John White, managing director and chairman of Public Financial Management Group, was recognized as an inaugural recipient of the Fels Institute of Government Leadership Awards on Oct. 4.

The Fels Institute is the University of Pennsylvania's graduate program in public policy and public management. The school celebrated its 75th anniversary last week.

"I am honored to be recognized by Fels, along with my distinguished colleagues," White said. "The Fels Institute's commitment to public service and the professional and practical training of the next generation of government leaders is well-known."

White has been with the PFM Group for the past 32 years, 30 of which were spent as chief executive officer.

White is known for leading the team that wrote the original five-year plan for Philadelphia in 1992, which enabled the city to recover from a more than $200 million structural operating deficit and gain back its investment-grade credit rating.

Along with White, James Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and Estelle Richman, former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, were also awarded the Fels Awards.

"The first ever Fels Public Leadership Awards are being given to three distinguished professionals, all of whom have led with integrity, engendered respect, and made a significant impact through their work," said Fels executive director David Thornburgh.

The PFM Group includes Public Financial Management Inc., a top-ranked municipal advisory firm.

According to Thomson Reuters data, PFM was the top financial advisor in the nation for the first half of 2012, working on 498 issues worth a total of $28 billion.

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