Crookal succeeds Richard R. Hoffert, who steps down at the end of the year after six years.
The CEO of the RSNO since 1995, Crookal has overseen several tours and an education and outreach program. Before joining the orchestra, he served as general manager of Edinbugh's Queen's Hall.
"We feel strongly that the community will be enthused and invigorated by Mr. Crookall's dynamic and charismatic leadership and that he will come to us with creative ideas," said Chris J. Christy, who headed the ISO's search committee, in a statement.
Trumpeter Robert Wood, a representative of the orchestra musicians, welcomed the choice, pointing to the RSNO's history of frequent recording. "It's important to us that our music is preserved and promoted," he said, "so we believe that Crookall is the right leader for these significant activities."
The 75-year-old ISO posted deficits of $284,000 and $545,000 in 2002 and 2003. Accounting for last season is not yet complete, but the orchestra has boosted fundraising and said last month that it expected a healthier bottom line.