A licensed attorney since 1997, Brent has worked as a litigator, lobbyist, political organizer, teacher, and policy advocate. He began his career as a litigator for one of Chicago’s largest law firms. In 2002, he pursued his passion for not-for-profit advocacy and became a policy associate for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and later, became the Policy Director for Citizen Action/Illinois. At Citizen Action, he authored the Payday Loan Reform Act. Furthering his work within the financial services arena, he became an attorney for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in 2006.
In 2009, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn appointed Brent the Secretary of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. In that capacity, he served as the State’s top regulator, overseeing most of the state’s professions. He chaired the Mortgage Fraud Task Force, which, under his leadership, disciplined more than 100 entities and assessed fines in excess of $2 million; he also coordinated the Mortgage Relief Project, a statewide program that helped thousands of struggling homeowners. In 2012, Brent pursued an interest in teaching and became a teacher and debate coach for a private school in Brooklyn, New York.
“I am excited to work with Brent again on cutting edge financial justice issues. His experience on financial services issues in the nonprofit and public sectors will be a tremendous asset to Woodstock Institute,” said Dory Rand, President of the Woodstock Institute.
Brent received his B.S. and M.A. in Rhetoric from Northwestern University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law.