Crystle Stewart has made major strides since being crowned Miss USA in 2008 and long proven that she is more than a pretty face. In a span of a little over a decade, the Missouri City-native has gone on to establish a successful career as an actress, model, entrepreneur, and now, the president and national director of the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants.
Stewart recently announced her new role in an interview with Good Morning America. The historic move marks the first time an African-American woman or person of color has served in that role in the pageant system’s 68-year history.
“I am ecstatic about my new role as the president and national director of the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants and look forward to showing the common American household the power of pageantry,” shared Stewart.
Working on the deal for more than a year in conjunction with the Miss Universe Organization, according to an Instagram post by Paula Shugart, president of the organization, Stewart acquired the licensing for both pageants last summer. She was able to informally announce her new role to pageant directors at the close of the 2020 Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageant competition.
The multi-faceted Stewart describes her vision for the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants as #pageantry re-imagined. She is poised to take pageantry in a new direction that provides a “platform where young women can amplify their voice, show off their healthy lifestyle, and learn life skills all while strutting in a fabulous evening gown and high heels.”
Her family celebrates her newest venture, including her mother, Cynthia Stewart, who commends her daughter’s tireless work. “This journey keeps getting miraculously incredible. God is definitely ordering Crystle’s steps and I thank him daily,” said the retired school administrator.
No stranger to making historic moves, Stewart assumed leadership of the Miss Houston USA pageant in 2018 upon relocating from Los Angeles after appearing in Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse, Close to Home and later making her big screen debut in a lead role in Acrimony. The talented actress received a star on the Walk of Fame at Perry’s Atlanta-based film studio in 2019.
Stewart’s enterprising spirit also led to the launch of MISS Academy, a training ground for young women and teens seeking to compete in pageants, or enhance their self-confidence and poise which align with her goals to empower and inspire young women through the power of pageantry.
Stewart never imagined that she would one day own the license of the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageant and play a leadership role in the pageant system that she competed in, and is excited to “showcase the beauty, intelligence, and fierceness of today’s generation of American young women” as she executes her vision and transforms pageantry for a new generation.