Crystal Jones Taylor has been a valued asset to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the New Orleans Field Office. She currently serves as Senior Management Analyst, Office of Policy and Management in the New Orleans Field Office and works on a number of high profile initiatives from the HUD Secretary’s Office and the White House.
As Senior Management Analyst, Crystal works closely with the Field Office Director to ensure the total integration of HUD programs and services. She assists with managing the day-to-day operations of the office and oversees HUD’s overall community outreach and customer service efforts, operations, and administrative functions. She coordinates and facilitates high profile visits, collaborative partnership meetings and conferences to achieve HUD’s mission. In this role, She provides a vital link in resolving HUD cross-program issues and facilitates the development of the New Orleans Field Office Annual Strategic Operating Management Plan.
Crystal has been instrumental in the design and implementation of community-based programs that addressed social, educational, and economic issues faced by low-income families. She assembled workshops on the multiple facets of community development, and forged collaborations across racial and economic lines in an effort to improve quality of life throughout our community. Crystal has provided extensive services to community organizations and agencies locally, statewide and nationally. She has rendered technical assistance and training in the areas of community planning, management, youth development, career preparation, job creation, economic development, entrepreneurial training, board development, grant preparation, housing, education and leadership development.
Crystal work in convening partners has been instrumental in the success of the City of New Orleans in becoming the first major city to eradicate veteran’s homelessness as part of the Obama Administration’s Mayor’s Challenge. Crystal’s leadership in this area has attributed to the State’s overall success in ending veterans’ homelessness. In 2014, she served as the Team Lead for the New Orleans Dedicating Opportunities to End Homelessness (DOEH) Initiative in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. The DOEH is a HUD Secretarial initiative established to engage and challenge ten Cities in the country to develop strategies to eradicate Veterans Homelessness by 2015, and chronic homelessness among individuals by 2016 and families and children by 2020.
Crystal has garnered attention from around the country as one of the nation’s premier grant writing trainers for faith based and nonprofit organizations. For the past 17 years She has served as Lead Trainer, successfully facilitating Grant Writing and Capacity Building trainings for HUD Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiative. As a trainer, she has engaged and provided training to thousands of Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), Community Development Corporations (CDCs), faith-based organizations, not-for-profit community organizations, social service agencies, and state and local governmental agencies. nationally, statewide and locally.
Crystal is instrumental in reaching out to constituencies, both internal and external to eliminate silos and promote collaboration on initiatives and HUD programs. Crystal is called upon by Senior Leadership to perform challenging assignments that require her flare, integrity, competence and collaborative spirit.
Crystal was called upon by HUD Headquarters assist in coordinating major Disaster Recovery Assignments – she was deployed to work on behalf of HUD under FEMA Mission Assignments, to assist in the recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Louisiana Great Floods of 2016, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island. Crystal coordinate the HUD New Orleans Field Office’s initial staffing of Disaster Recovery Centers under Emergency Support Function Mission Assignment following the August 2016 floods. She lead a group of HUD staff at the highest volume Disaster Recovery Center in the disaster impacted area, bring a since of hope to the survivors she encountered each day.
HUD’s presence in those recovery centers made a huge difference in how survivors viewed their recovery. Once the Emergency Support Function assignment ended, Crystal transitioned into the Housing Recovery Support Function (RSF) as the Housing RSF Team lead. Working in coordination with the Housing RSF Field Coordinator, Crystal played an integral role in shaping the long-term recovery role that HUD has as part of Louisiana’s Recovery. Her ability to work collaboratively with internal and external partners created a great synergy in the long-term recovery mission. HUD’s presence at the Joint Field Office has provided significant momentum to the State’s Recovery efforts.
Crystal has been instrumental in providing leadership for the design and implementation of new and innovative disaster recovery resource fairs, that have been replicated on used in other disasters around the country. She has also work on HUD driven initiatives supporting the Housing RSF. Crystal has been a part of cross agency collaboration to support long term recovery in a comprehensive manner inclusive of other federal, State, Local, conventional and unconventional partners. The work that Crystal is involved in has become national models that are being used in other disaster impacted areas. Crystal was one of the conceptual designers of the Louisiana Housing Heroes Initiative, launched to help build affordable housing capacity throughout the Disaster impacted area.
Crystal is outcome driven, her commitment, workmanship and dedication to HUD’s mission and Louisiana’s recovery process has positioned her as a subject matter expert that has responded to numerous queries from Texas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Island and other. As a result she was the recipient of HUD 2018 Secretary’s Employee of the Year Award and the New Orleans Federal Executive 2018 Public Service Award. In 2006 she was the recipient of the President’s Services Award from the President of Services in recognition of her outstanding support and assistance HUD/ FEMA Mission Assignment after FEMA Hurricane Katrina.
Crystal hold a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans (UNO) Graduate and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Xavier University and. She received special training from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government in Community and Governmental Affairs and the Universidad De Las Americas.
Sr. Mgmt. Analysis & Trainer, HUD