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Carole Brown

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Information about Carole Brown

Profile image of Carole Brown

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Investment Banker

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
French Fries (McDonald's)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Italy
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/6/1964
Birth Location:
Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Investment Banker

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
French Fries (McDonald's)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Italy
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/6/1964
Birth Location:
Roanoke Rapids
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Biography

Financial expert and business leader Carole Lynette Brown was born July 6, 1964, in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Brown heads the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the nation’s second largest transportation agency, as its chairman. She is also a managing director at Lehman Brothers.

In 2003, Carole assumed the helm of the CTA Board after being appointed by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Brown took control during a budget crisis over managerial pension revisions. During Brown’s tenure, she has used her financial proficiency to help the CTA finance billions of dollars in deferred maintenance, rail improvements, health care benefits and capital construction.

Growing up wanting to be a teacher and then lawyer, Brown ultimately took on the business world, beginning her career working at First Chicago Capital Markets, Midwest Management Consultants, and Mesirow Financial before landing at Lehman Brothers. There, Brown has primary responsibility for overseeing business revenues surpassing $10 million annually, and for the firm’s client dealings in several major national markets. Before starting in public finance, Brown earned her B.A. degree from Harvard University. She then relocated to Chicago and received her M.B.A. in management from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Brown is also active in her community and politics, having served as a member of the Women’s Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee and serving on several boards, including the Chicago Children’s Museum, Mercy Foundation, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, and The Auto Club Group (an affiliate of AAA). She is also a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network, and serves on the President’s Board for Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network. For her efforts, she was named a 2002 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and became Leadership Greater Chicago’s 2007 Distinguished Fellow.

Brown has received many professional awards and recognitions and has been profiled by many publications. In 2003, she was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ 40 under 40 and was also named one of the 25 Women to Watch by that publication in 2007. In 2005, Brown was named a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United and also one of the Top 50 Under 50 by Black MBA Magazine. She was also selected by Working Mother to receive the Legacy Award at its Chicago Multicultural Women's Town Hall in 2007.

Brown lives with her dog Echo in Chicago.

Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 14, 2008.

See how Carole Brown is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carole Brown's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carole Brown lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carole Brown describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carole Brown describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carole Brown describes her father's siblings' education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carole Brown talks about her father's experiences in North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carole Brown describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carole Brown describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carole Brown describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carole Brown remembers her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carole Brown remembers transferring to a predominantly Jewish middle school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carole Brown talks about her experiences as at track team member at Milford Mill High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carole Brown remembers Milford Mill High School in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carole Brown recalls her father's interest in black history
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carole Brown remembers the popular culture of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carole Brown recalls her graduation from Milford Mill High School in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carole Brown describes her decision to attend Harvard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carole Brown talks about her experiences at Harvard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carole Brown remembers developing an interest in business
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carole Brown reflects upon her experiences at Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carole Brown talks about the economic disparity among the students at Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carole Brown remembers the African American community at Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carole Brown recalls earning an M.B.A. degree through the First Scholar Program
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carole Brown remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carole Brown describes her experiences at the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carole Brown remembers her early work as a financial consultant
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carole Brown talks about mezzanine financing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carole Brown remembers serving as the managing director of public finance at Mesirow Financial
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carole Brown recalls her transition to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carole Brown reflects upon her experiences as a black woman in the investment banking industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carole Brown talks about her challenges at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carole Brown talks about her challenges at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carole Brown remembers her promotion to managing director at Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carole Brown remembers her appointment as chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carole Brown talks about her duties as chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carole Brown talks about the Chicago Transit Authority's service in the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carole Brown talks about the reparations controversy against Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carole Brown talks about the reparations controversy against Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carole Brown describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carole Brown reflects upon her life and legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carole Brown describes her advice to aspiring businesspeople
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carole Brown talks about her organizational affiliations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carole Brown talks about her family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carole Brown describes how she would like to be remembered