Director of State Policy
2431 E Goldenrod Street
Phoenix, AZ 85048
As the director of state policy for NASDDDS, Barbara Brent has more than 34 years of experience in publically funded systems for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has worked in state and county government, as well as in the private sector.
Before joining NASDDDS in 2012, Barbara spent six years as the state director for the Arizona Division of Developmental Disability Services, supporting more than 30,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities, along with their families. She oversaw the state's acute/medical and long-term care service and support systems designed to help people live successful lives in their Arizona communities through a unique managed care system. She oversaw the administration of over 500 home and community-based service providers, the fiscal intermediary system, acute care contractors, fiscal operations, rate setting, and community partnership initiatives. With continuous focus on developing and enhancing in home and community supports and services, more than 87 percent of all people with I/DD live in the family home or homes of their own.
Barbara also served as the deputy director of the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities from 2001-2006, overseeing all community operations, support coordination and provider systems. She focused on community capacity building, the design and implementation of quality improvement, autism guidelines, and stakeholder engagement initiatives.
While living in Tennessee before moving to Arizona, Barbara served from 1997-2001, Barbara worked in Tennessee, first as the state's education coordinator for the state Division of Developmental Disabilities, moving into the position of assistant deputy commission, and then into the state director position as the deputy commissioner. During her tenure in the state of Tennessee, she presided over both community and ICF services across the state and oversaw systems redesign, waiver development, and implementation to come into compliance with DOJ lawsuits. Barbara worked with the Tennessee Board of Nursing to write new state statute providing for the certification and training of medication administration of non-licensed personnel in community-based settings.
Early in her career, Barbara worked in both the public and private sectors in a variety of roles, including director of supported employment and training director for the state of Oregon, community services director for the city and county of Denver, UCEDD instructor, director of a provider agency, and a support coordinator.
Barbara received her master's degree in special education with a specialty in community services for individuals with severe disabilities from Portland State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Idaho with a secondary teaching certification.