Cristal Baron

Vice President, Finance and Development
Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT)

Cristal is an experienced C-Suite leader who excels at the intersection of finance and social impact, leveraging her demonstrated ability to identify opportunities for alignment among disparate stakeholders to design creative solutions. Over the past 20 years, she has led and managed organizations as a strategic CFO and executive team leader, identifying and refining key enterprise drivers to position companies for the next phase of growth and driving that growth by deploying her operational, strategic, communications, capital markets and capital-raising skills.

At MLT, she built and executed the strategy that drove three-fold growth in just four years by (1) aligning MLT’s corporate partner contribution model to its delivered impact, (2) providing rigor and a sense of urgency to the philanthropic narrative around economic mobility for people of color, and (3) centering MLT’s work in philanthropic dialogues on economic equity and racial wealth gaps.

Previously, as President of investment banking boutique Rice Financial Products, she led the firm’s transformation from a successful derivatives business to a top ranked bond underwriter and Historically Black College and University (HBCU) lender of choice on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis. She designed and built the operational capacity for Rice to thrive in a highly regulated industry. By building a compelling financial and strategic vision, leveraging the firm’s reputation for providing innovative capital markets solutions and enhancing the firm’s financial and risk management procedures, she drove the strategy that grew the firm’s underwriting business from $7B to $40B in just four years.

She continues to embrace opportunities to design creative solutions in complex contexts by establishing value-based relationships, building areas of alignment, and identifying opportunities to meet the needs of various stakeholders.

Her board experience includes service as Board Chair for Grace Episcopal Day School, where she led a nation-wide search to replace an outgoing Head of School, and as Finance Committee Chair during the transition to the DC-area’s first tuition model indexed to affordability and a strategic land monetization strategy to provide for the school’s long-term sustainability.

Skilled in Business Strategy, Social Enterprise, Risk Management, Nonprofit Organizations, Stakeholder Alignment, ESG, Structured Finance, Philanthropy, and Fundraising.