A native Puerto Rican, Cruz completed her Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Boston University, getting a concentration in Human Resources Management and graduating Cum Laude. She also completed her Master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After 12 total years in the continental U.S., she returned to Puerto Rico to venture into politics, starting as advisor for the San Juan City Major and for the President of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives.
In 2012, she became San Juan’s third female mayor; she won re-election in 2016.
In September 2017, Hurricane Maria ravaged the U.S. Commonwealth, leading to widespread power outtages, lack of suitable shelter, and unsafe drinking water. Cruz has since become a voice for Puerto Rican citizens, lobbying Congress for aid to to restore the power grid and enhance infrastructure.