Former Mayor of San Juan and Weissman Distinguished Fellow in Leadership
Carmen Yulín Cruz is the author of El Poder está en la Calle (Power is in the Street). In it, she writes about the struggles and experiences of the people, and how rewarding it can be to find their own power to change society and to change the country. For Carmen Yulín Cruz, the principles of justice and equality are her ultimate passion and commitment in life.
Yulín, as she likes to be called, left San Juan and attended the University of Boston, Massachusetts, graduating Cum Laude in Political Science. Afterwards, she received a full scholarship from the Sloan Foundation to complete her master’s degree in public policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
At Carnegie Mellon, she was the first student to receive the Spirit Award, now known as the Barbara Jenkins Award, an honor bestowed upon the student who elicited a positive impact on the quality of life of other students, in and out of the classroom.
After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Yulín was hired by Westinghouse to be part of their highly selective program for the development of managers in human resources. She subsequently worked as the human resources director for the Office of Thrift Supervision in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
In 1992, she moved back to Puerto Rico and served as manager and director of human resources for various companies in the private sector, such as Colgate-Palmolive, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Cellular One (now AT&T) and Scotiabank.
However, her true passion called her and she decided to return to the public sector. First, she became an advisor to the then-Mayor of San Juan, Sila María Calderón, and then went on to advise the Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, until finding her own path and deciding to run for office.