Deputy Director of Project Operations, Governor's Office of Storm Recovery
Crystys Skevington's first exposure to disaster followed Hurricane Katrina, when she spent a summer volunteering in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The experience both illuminated her limitations as an unskilled volunteer and cemented a desire to learn from and contribute more meaningfully to community recovery. Later, she joined the inaugural graduate class at Tulane’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy and became one of its first students to graduate from the program. Prior to seeking her Master of Science degree, Crysty graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing, Literature, and Publishing. She participated as a journalism intern at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Amnesty International’s “Individuals at Risk” Campaign in Washington D.C, and as a development intern at Tulane’s School of Social Work office in Kigali, Rwanda. A personal and professional highlight occurred in 2018 when Crysty merged her three passions - writing, human rights, and disaster recovery- in collaboration with Americares and the Op-Ed Project to publish perspectives from local health leaders on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. Crysty now specializes in nonprofit disaster response and recovery, with a focus on large scale hurricane and flood events. She worked for the American Red Cross during both superstorm Sandy in NYC and Hurricane Harvey along the Texas Gulf Coast. In 2020, the Red Cross recognized Crysty with a ‘Values in Action Award” for demonstrating ‘credibility’ in her support to grantees during the early physical and economic uncertainty produced by the coronavirus. These efforts enabled Harvey impacted families to continue receiving services during the pandemic even as other businesses and social providers halted operations. In 2015-16 Crysty traveled to Gujarat to serve as a William J Clinton Service to India Fellow for the American India Foundation. There, she explored models for long-term disaster recovery following the Gujarati Earthquake of 2001, and the 2015 Chennai Floods. She also worked for Utthan, a grassroots-led organization focused on the political and economic rights of women in tribal and coastal communities. This international awareness informs every aspect of Crysty’s work domestically, particularly in devising recovery solutions that are both accessible and culturally considerate. Recently, Crysty accepted a new role as a Deputy Director for the Operations Team at the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. Originally from Saratoga Springs, Crysty is in the process of returning home to upstate New York.