Kristy M. Arnold, PhD

Executive Director, LIFT-DC

Washington, DC -

As LIFT-DC’s Executive Director, Kristy works collaboratively with the DC leadership team to promote LIFT’s mission, secure long-standing relationships and diversified funding streams, encourage innovative programming and promote an active and broad work environment among staff.

Kristy LIFTs because she wholeheartedly believes it is her civic duty and life-long responsibility to help those in need. Servant leadership was introduced early in Kristy’s life through witnessing her family’s involvement in civic leadership in her local community. With regard to clear disparities and differences amongst people from different backgrounds, Kristy has often struggled with the phrase “life isn’t fair” as her immediate thought was “but, it can be.” Thus, she has dedicated her entire career and personal endeavors to operating in – and creating opportunities for – said “fairness” to exist for all. Kristy is excited to lead the LIFT team as a dedicated broker of change in breaking the incessant cycle of intergenerational poverty amongst families.

Prior to LIFT, Kristy served as the Director of Case Management for DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI), a community-based organization also addressing the challenges of poverty and the Director of Student Services for the Year Up, National Capital Region office, providing social services and community resources for young adults seeking employment within the corporate sector. She has worked with youth in both the juvenile justice and foster care systems in her hometown of Atlanta as the Lead Case Manager at Neighbor to Family, Inc., and as a Psychometrist (psychological evaluator) within a clinical private practice. Throughout her career, she has primarily served in community-focused organizations developing programs and conducting groups centered around life/leadership empowerment, substance awareness, and sexual abuse to name a few, in addition to providing counseling services to families, couples, youth and young adults. As a major proponent of education, Kristy has also served as an adjunct professor at both Virginia Tech (master’s practicum and group counseling courses) as well as at the George Washington University (master’s theories and techniques course). Kristy also has a special interest in volunteerism and has mentored underserved youth at local Boys & Girls clubs and various other mentoring programs. A word that many clients and students would likely quote as being Dr. A’s favorite is “choice,” as she fully believes that in order for you to reach your goals and fulfill your destiny you must unapologetically choose your path.

Kristy holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Georgia, M.Ed. from Howard University, and PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Virginia Tech – dissertation entitled “A Qualitative Examination of African American Counselors’ Experiences of Addressing Issues of Race, Ethnicity and Culture With Clients of Color.” Kristy currently resides in Northern Virginia and is an active member of several organizations. She loves to spend quality time with a good group of girlfriends and sorority sisters discussing their plans to take over the world one pair of stilettos at a time.


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