Crystal Hayling is a creative, values-driven leader with a track record of forging innovative partnerships between grantmakers, nonprofits, government, and the private sector. During two decades of nonprofit and foundation experience her work has supported social entrepreneurship, civic engagement, public health, women’s rights and nonprofit leadership development.
Crystal was President and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) from 2002-2009 where she oversaw deployment of more than $100 million to strengthen California’s community clinics, achieve universal health coverage in the United States, and address family violence.
Prior to joining BSCF she was senior advisor for the Marguerite Casey Foundation, a Seattle-based independent grant making foundation dedicated to helping low-income families strengthen their voice and mobilize their communities to advocate for social justice.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, Crystal served as director of the Medi-Cal Policy Institute, a project of the California HealthCare Foundation in Oakland, where she worked from 1997 to 2003. The charge of that public policy think-tank was to ensure all low-income Californians have access to health care. Under her leadership, she positioned the institute as a trusted source of information on health policy. In addition, she partnered with the foundation’s technology team to develop Health-e App, the nation’s first Web-based Medicaid application, which reduced the Medi-Cal approval process from three weeks to three days.
Crystal also co-created a $35 million grants initiative targeting gang violence while at the California Wellness Foundation in Woodland Hills, California, from 1992 to 1995. Her work was instrumental in redefining violence as a public health threat to youth – not just a criminal justice problem. And, as associate director of the California Self Help Center in Los Angeles, she formulated new strategies for using self-help programs in poor and underserved communities, including the creation of a health promotion project for Latinas.
Other foundations where Crystal held leadership positions include the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, in San Francisco, where she directed annual grant making focused on homelessness and senior care, and the Los Angeles Women’s Foundation, where she directed grants funding for domestic violence prevention and girls’ leadership programs.
Crystal has lived and worked in China and Mexico. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a Masters in Management Science from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is a 2007 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, an assessment organization that provides comparative data to increase foundation effectiveness and the Lien Centre for Social Innovation. She serves on advisory boards for the UC Berkeley Laurence Hall of Science and the Wikimedia Foundation. She now lives in Singapore where she writes and consults with social enterprises.
Her previous blog for the San Francisco Chronicle SF Gate can be found here.