Cruz was born and attended elementary and high school in Puerto Rico. Cruz completed her Bachelor’s degree at Boston University and her Master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University.
“People don’t realize they have the power. People don’t realize that if they come together, there are more of them than those who occupy the seat that I’m in right now.”
– Carmen Yulin Cruz
Cruz worked as a Manager and Human Resources Director for various companies after graduating. Following 12 years in the US, Cruz returned to Puerto Rico and worked as an advisor for the San Juan City Major and for the President of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives.
Cruz is a member of the Political Education Institute of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) and was elected National President of the PPD Women Organization. In 2005 the Governor of Puerto Rico named her a member of the San Juan Reorganization Commission. Cruz was also part of the PPD Government Platform Program Committee and in 2008 was elected Representative by Accumulation. In 2012 Cruz was elected Mayor of San Juan City.