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The Roundtable

Former Mayor Of San Juan Carmen Yulin Cruz On Leadership And Climate Change

view of a San Juan fort
Sarah LaDuke
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Carmen Yulín Cruz served as the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico from 2013-2020. When Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico in 2017, she worked to support the millions of Puerto Ricans who were impacted by the hurricane and the long-term power outages.

She has received countless awards and recognition for her leadership during and after Hurricane Maria, including being named on the 2018 TIME Magazine list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Cruz served as Mayor through the end of 2020 and Cruz now serves as a Distinguished Fellow in Leadership at the Weissman Center at Mount Holyoke College.

We spoke with her last week at a Bennington College CAPA (Center for the Advancement of Public Action) event where we discussed climate justice, the role of women leaders especially during crisis, lessons learned from Hurricane Maria and Irma, and how climate change is leading to migration away from Puerto Rico.

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