Skip to main content

Search form

Whitney Barkley-Denney

Deputy Director of State Policy & Senior Policy Counsel

Whitney Barkley-Denney is a deputy director of state policy and a senior policy counsel, based in Durham, NC. She works with state legislatures, attorneys general, and governors to fight predatory lending, exploitative student loan practices, and unscrupulous debt collectors.

Prior to CRL, Whitney worked on a range of election law issues as director of the Michigan Election Law Project and field director for Election Protection 2008, coordinating law students and attorneys to monitor polls for election irregularities during the 2008 presidential campaign. Whitney clerked for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, serving in the Voter Protection Division, working to enforce the 1964 Voting Rights Act. She accepted a fellowship from Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps to do foreclosure assistance work with the Mississippi Center for Justice, developing legal and policy expertise in foreclosure, consumer lending, and for-profit colleges. In 2013 and 2014, Whitney was appointed to the US Department of Education's Federal Rulemaking Committee on Gainful Employment and Programmatic Integrity, helping to set federal financial policy for students.

Whitney attended The College of Charleston, in Charleston (SC), and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, being named 2009 Woman Law Student of the Year by the National Women Lawyers Association. When she's not at work, Whitney enjoys theater.

Research & Policy

Our in-depth research of financial practices is intended to guide policymakers and opinion leaders working to improve the state of lending.



February 13, 2023 | By Daniel Boguslaw | The Intercept
“Saying that people who are in hard financial straits need access to this kind of credit is sort of like giving a starving person rotten food,” Whitney Barkley-Denney, senior policy counsel at the...
January 12, 2023 | By Shwanika Narayan | The San Francisco Chronicle
There are numerous reasons why consumers do not respond, said Whitney Barkley-Denney, the deputy director of state policy at the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit policy firm in Durham, N.C...
December 15, 2022
Lenders squeeze borrowers with large balances, long terms, expensive and unnecessary add-on products DURHAM, NC – Large, personal loans demand scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers in Colorado...
December 11, 2022 | By Daniel J. Chacón | Santa Fe New Mexican
“I will never forget going to Gallup on my way to the Navajo reservation and seeing just store after store after store of predatory lenders lined up tip to tail all the way to the border with Arizona...