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Charlie Baker picks nonprofit CEO for housing role

Chrystal Kornegay (left), the president and CEO of Urban Edge, currently serves as co-chair of the advisory committee on community issues for Charlie Baker’s transition team.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff/File/Boston Globe

Chrystal Kornegay, a Democrat who leads a Roxbury-based nonprofit, will be chief of the Department of Housing and Community Development in Governor-elect Charlie Baker’s administration, people with knowledge of the appointment said Monday.

The president and chief executive of Urban Edge, which assists residents of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain with housing and development matters, currently serves as cochair of the advisory committee on community issues for Baker’s transition team. She has spoken glowingly of the interest Baker showed in community development policy during his successful campaign this year, in contrast to his losing 2010 bid.

Efforts on Monday to reach Kornegay were unsuccessful.


Urban Edge, founded 40 years ago, aids low- and moderate-income families. It says it has developed almost 1,500 units of affordable housing, recently focusing on the Jackson Square neighborhood.

According to an online biography, Kornegay worked as project manager for the Community Builders from 1995 to 1999, before assuming a role as real estate director with the same organization. She became deputy director and chief executive of Urban Edge in 2005, and started as president in 2011.

Kornegay graduated from Hunter College, earned a master’s degree in city planning from MIT, and graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Achieving Excellence Program.

She will succeed Aaron Gornstein, undersecretary for housing and community development in the Patrick administration. The department falls under the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. Baker in November named Chelsea city manager Jay Ash to lead that office. Last week, he tapped Carolyn Kirk, the Democratic mayor of Gloucester, for another top post within the agency.

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.