Hon. Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto was born in February 25th, 1963, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her parents are Mr. Pedro Cruz and Mrs. Carmen Irene Soto. An Honor student from Julio Sellés Solá Elementary School, and University of Puerto Rico Secondary School. A leader and athlete student, who established track and field records at High School. She also was president of the Student Council and represented her school at the Presidential Room for American Youth. 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, where she became the first student to receive the Spirit Award, now called the Barbara Jenkins Award, honor given to the student with the greatest positive impact on the quality of life of their peers.

After graduating, Cruz was recruited by Westinghouse Company as part of a Human Resources Management Program. She was Manager and Human Resources Director for companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Banco Popular, Cellular One (now AT&T), Scotiabank and USA Department of Treasury. In 1992, after 12 years living in the United States, came back 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 2003, Cruz was member of the Political Education Institute of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD for its acronym in Spanish). The same year, was elected National President of the PPD Women Organization, occupying this position at present. In 2005 the Governor of Puerto Rico named her member of the San Juan Reorganization Commission. Was part of the PPD Government Platform Program Committee and in 2008 was elected Representative by Accumulation at general political election. In 2012 Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto was elected Mayor of San Juan City.

After President Trump's response to Hurricane Maria in 2017, she said, "This is, dammit, not a 'good news' story. This is a people-are-dying story. This is a life-or-death story. This is a there's-a-truckload-of-stuff-that-cannot-be-taken-to-people story. This is a story of devastation that continues to worsen."