Carole L. Brown

Chief Financial Officer
The City of Chicago

Carole L. Brown

Carole L. Brown was appointed chief financial officer of the City of Chicago in May of 2015. Prior to joining the City, Brown had a more than 25-year career as one of the leading municipal finance investment bankers in the country. Most recently, Brown served as a managing director at Barclays Capital, heading the firm’s Midwest and Southeast municipal practices. She served as the senior investment banker for local and national municipal clients including the City of Chicago; the District of Columbia; the City of Atlanta; and the States of Illinois, Florida, Michigan, and Indiana. Prior to joining Barclays, Brown was employed with Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC and Mesirow Financial. She joined Mesirow after a 10-year career as managing director at Lehman Brothers. 

Brown is a native of Baltimore and a graduate of Harvard College. She came to Chicago in 1986 to attend Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where she received a Master’s degree in management in 1989. 

For six and half years, Brown served as chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority Board, a position she held through September 2009. As CTA chair, Brown oversaw policy for the nation’s second largest transportation agency. She was a member of the transition team for Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, served as chairman of his TIF Reform Panel, and was one of his appointees to the Board of the Regional Transportation Authority.

From July 2011 until her appointment as CFO, Brown also served as a commissioner on the State of Illinois Budget for Results Commission, having been appointed to that position by former governor Pat Quinn. She currently serves on several boards, including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Rush University Medical Center, Metropolitan Planning Council, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Chicago High School for the Arts, The Auto Club Group/the Auto Club Insurance Association, and One Fund Chicago. Brown is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, and The National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP). She is a 2002 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and was named that organization’s 2007 Distinguished Fellow. Brown is the recipient of many professional awards and recognitions, and has been profiled by many publications.