Dr. Crystal E. Newby Appointed as NACAC’s First Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Shanda Ivory

Dr. Crystal E. Newby Appointed as NACAC’s First
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Arlington, VA (Dec. 14, 2020) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Crystal E. Newby as the organization’s first director of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Newby will transition to the new position, which will be housed in the Educational Content and Policy division within NACAC, starting January 1, 2021.

Newby has served the association for seven years, most recently as the senior associate director of education and training. Prior to joining NACAC, she worked in college admission offices at the University of Scranton (PA), Montclair State University (NJ), and Bloomsburg University (PA). Her educational credentials include a BA and MA from the University of Scranton and an EdD from Johns Hopkins University (MD).

The creation of the DEI position is a direct response to NACAC’s Ad Hoc Committee on Leadership in College Admission report, which noted that “the organization needed to double down on its work to end inequities in higher education and foster a more inclusive and diverse membership... As the pandemic and acts of police violence further intensified inequities, we see this priority as more critical than ever.” Ensuing CEO listening sessions with NACAC members also emphasized the importance of a commitment to DEI in relation to association staffing and governance.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Newby has answered the membership’s call for a diversity strategist to lead the association in creating an equity and inclusion eco-system across all facets of staff, membership, and leadership,” said NACAC CEO Angel B. Pérez. “Not only does she possess the education and professional experiences to lead, she is fueled by her personal passion for the very issues she will champion. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and partner with her in this important work.”

Newby will have wide-ranging involvement in all NACAC initiatives, developing an organizational strategy to identify, address, and assess DEI priorities throughout the association. She also will continue to oversee the Guiding the Way to Inclusion program and the Antiracist Education Institute and is part of the staff team implementing a grant NACAC received from the Lumina Foundation to develop recommendations on creating racially equitable college admission and financial aid practices.

“Addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential in the college admission and counseling space, and the challenges of 2020 have only exacerbated matters,” Newby said. “In this role, my goal is to collaborate with those who serve in the admission and counseling profession – as well as those who serve in spaces dedicated to DEI – to disrupt the status quo and dismantle systems and processes that do not support our students.”

“Throughout her tenure at the association, Crystal has been a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion,” stated David Hawkins, NACAC’s executive director for educational content and policy. “Her appointment sends a strong signal that NACAC is firmly committed to investment in DEI at every level and will be accountable for associated outcomes.”


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of nearly 14,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. 

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