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Whitney Barkley-Denney

Senior Policy Counsel

Whitney Barkley-Denney is legislative policy counsel, based in Durham, NC, where 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.


September 5, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently announced that the Department will stop working with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in oversight cases of student...
August 2, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently announced a decision to drop a plan that would have created a single student loan servicer for the nation. The reversal...
July 29, 2017 | By Jillian Berman | MarketWatch
In that environment, states, beginning with Connecticut in 2015, started enacting legislation requiring servicers to abide by certain consumer protections. That effort has picked up over...
June 20, 2017 | By Marina Villeneuve | Associated Press
That change and Navient's lobbying against state licensing efforts are drawing concern from consumer advocacy groups, who point to federal scrutiny over Navient and President Donald Trump's...