Betty Cruz assumed the role of President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh in January of 2020. Prior to joining the Council, Betty served as the leader of Change Agency, a social enterprise which she founded in 2016, and Project Director for All for All, an immigrant inclusion initiative. Betty has extensive experience in community outreach, communications, partnership-building, and program management – spanning nearly 20 years. She has developed citywide initiatives for Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, managed major accounts for a national nonprofit dedicated to building playgrounds across the U.S., and supported public relations for global brands representing a wide range of industries.
Originally from Miami, Florida, Betty is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and a first-generation college graduate. She holds a BA in History from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an MPA from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) where she was selected for the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership Portfolio Program and U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship in Portuguese. Betty is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
In recent years, Betty has received the following accolades: 25 Essential Pittsburghers by NEXTpittsburgh in 2019, Pittsburgh Magazine 40 Under 40, Global Pittsburgh Immigrant Champion, 2018 Women of Achievement, 2018 CLASS Community Heroes Award, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh for Humanity Day, The Incline as a Community Leader, Peace Islands Institute and Turkish Cultural Center for Public Service, 2014 YWCA Racial Justice Awardee in Government, and GSPIA 4 Under 40 Distinguished Alumnus. In 2015, Governor Tom Wolf appointed Betty to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs.
Betty serves on several local boards including Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Global Minds Initiative. Betty is a member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network and is a Next City Vanguard.