Crystal Hayling is a career nonprofit manager and political activist. She is the executive director of the Libra Foundation, a grantmaking organization which provides funding for initiatives that promote feminism, environmentalism, more permissive drug legislation, and other left-progressive policies. Hayling previously worked as the managing director of the Aspen Institute and the chief executive officer of the Blue Shield of California Foundation, which promotes left-of-center policies related to public health, including universal taxpayer-funded healthcare (often referred to as Medicare for All). She also worked as a senior advisor to the Marguerite Casey Foundation, a leading left-of-center grantmaking organization.  In addition to her work in the United States, Hayling spent several years abroad, working in China, Singapore, Mexico, and several southeast Asian countries. 
Hayling sits on the boards of groups such as Northern California Grantmakers, Grantmakers in Health and Community Change, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, and the Center for Effective Philanthropy, an advisory group which studies the effectiveness of left-of-center nonprofit groups. Former California Governor Jerry Brown (D) also appointed her to the state’s Board of Food and Agriculture. 
Hayling has endorsed the work of New York Times magazine staff writer and far-left activist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who promotes distributing race-based benefits to black people in America under the guise of slavery reparations, and claims that American history is completely dependent on slavery.  Hayling has also previously claimed, without providing evidence, that in the United States, “low performing” white students are admitted to colleges “at the same rate” as “high performing” black students.  In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis, Minnesota, police, Hayling wrote an open letter accusing her fellow left-progressive grantmakers and nonprofit leaders of being “blinded” by “privilege and white supremacy.” 
Crystal Hayling graduated from Yale University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She started her nonprofit career in the late 1980s when she started working for the Los Angeles Women’s Foundation, a California-based feminist activist organization. From 1992 to 1995, she worked as a senior program officer at the California Wellness Foundation, which funds immigration advocacy organizations, gun control advocacy groups, and other left-progressive initiatives under the guise of promoting public health. In 1995, she became a senior program officer for the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, a prominent California-based foundation which promotes LGBT interests, increased immigration, and left-progressive social policies. And in 1997, became the director of the Medi-Cal Policy Institute, a left-of-center public health think tank focused on the state of California. 
From 2001 to 2002, Hayling attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Afterwards, she worked as a senior advisor to the Marguerite Casey Foundation, where she helped distribute grants for initiatives promoting left-of-center policies intended to reduce poverty. In 2004, she became the president and chief executive officer of the Blue Shield of California Foundation, where she oversaw the distribution of more than $100 million in grants for left-of-center projects promoting taxpayer-funded universal healthcare coverage. In 2010, she founded C2 Projects, a consulting firm for left-of-center activists and grantmaking organizations. 
After spending a year as the managing director of the Aspen Institute, Crystal Hayling assumed the role of executive director of the Libra Foundation, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Libra provides funds for a broad range of left-progressive causes. These include expanding access to and eliminating restrictions on abortion, promoting environmentalist policies, and restricting the ability of law enforcement agencies to prosecute illegal drug-related activity. 
In 2019, Libra gave more than $1.3 million in total to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation and the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, one of the ACLU’s regional affiliate organizations. Libra also gave $200,000 to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a leading abortion provider and promoter. Another $100,000 went to the environmentalist legal activism group Earthjustice, which in addition to its litigation, provides support to activist groups which attempt to disrupt the construction and operation of oil and gas facilities.