Kristal Norwood-Watts, MPA
Employment Transition Manager - Illinois
Kristal Norwood-Watts is a native to Chicago, Illinois. After completing the work to earn a cosmetology license in high school, she joined the United States Army, where she served as a member of the Army Reserve, 416th Engineer Command, for more than 10 years. After separation, she served her family and continued education and connection in her community.
Following the completion of an associate degree in sociology, Kristal worked within the community, including as program coordinator for recreation programs with Country Club Hills Park District and as a teacher’s assistant in the local school district. Kristal volunteered as a cheerleading coach for the Country Club Hills Cougars football team and continued to volunteer for 23 years. Community positions gave her the opportunity to mentor, train, and teach young people the value of community involvement. Eventually, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, followed by a master’s degree in public administration.
During this time, Kristal secured a position with the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Detention and Removal Operations. She continued this career for 25+ years, exhibiting dedication and commitment to service. After a 35-year career working with various organizations within the federal government, Kristal retired to pursue other opportunities, including serving other veterans, service members, and their families through Operation: Job Ready Veterans.
Kristal is a certified life coach as a passion, having helped a multitude of young people make positive decisions for their future. She enjoys pursuing her PhD in public policy and administration and is completing her dissertation. Her artful hobbies allow her to tap into her creative skills, balancing work and joy.