NIH’s Brian Trent appointed vice chancellor for business affairs

Brian G. Trent, chief operating officer for the National Eye Institute (NEI) at the National Institutes of Health, has been appointed vice chancellor for business affairs at UNC Charlotte following a national search.
Thursday, July 1, 2021

Brian G. Trent, chief operating officer for the National Eye Institute (NEI) at the National Institutes of Health, has been appointed vice chancellor for business affairs at UNC Charlotte following a national search. He will assume his duties Aug. 30, 2021. In this role, he will serve as the University’s chief financial and administrative officer. Reporting directly to Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber and serving as a member of her cabinet, he will be responsible for the institution’s fiscal management, facilities development and operation, human resources, public safety and emergency management, business continuity and auxiliary services.

“Brian’s strong leadership and demonstrated commitment to problem solving, collaboration and research align perfectly with UNC Charlotte’s strategic plan,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “I am excited to welcome him to our University’s leadership team, and I look forward to working together to ensure UNC Charlotte continues to meet the evolving needs as the state's urban research university.” 

Trent brings more than 25 years of financial and operational management experience to this position. In his role at the NEI, he oversees all aspects of finance, information technology, procurement, human resources and facilities for the institute. Among his accomplishments at NEI were chairing an NIH committee that successfully streamlined the government contracting process, founding the institute’s first enterprise risk management function, establishing a revenue-generating property management service center and leading the NEI’s COVID-19 response efforts. Additionally, under his leadership, the NEI created a partnership with several local colleges and universities to hire students from underrepresented communities, building a pipeline for students to careers in biomedical research. 

Prior to the NEI, Trent served as executive officer of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products. He also held federal appointments in the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Secretary, first as a senior program analyst and then as chief operating officer. He also held finance positions in local government in Fairfax, Virginia, and Norwalk, Connecticut. 

"I am excited to join the UNC Charlotte family. North Carolina and the UNC System are special to me. Both of my parents, as well as several family members, are graduates of the UNC System,” said Trent. “UNC Charlotte’s tremendous growth in recent years and its place in a large, thriving metropolitan area uniquely position it for the future. I am looking forward to providing outstanding business support to Chancellor Gaber, the Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff and the greater Charlotte community in helping to shape the next chapter for this great University.” 

Trent earned a Bachelor of Science in public administration and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in public financial management from the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.