A.B. Cruz III | Candidate for President-Elect

A.B. Cruz III

Candidate for President-Elect

Endorse Candidate







Candidate Statement

It is with a deep commitment to service, a clear sense of purpose, and a very grateful heart that I respectfully ask that you allow me the opportunity to serve as your next President-Elect. Indeed, in recent years, I have often attempted to convince myself that I have adequately supported and given back to NAPABA and its affiliated organizations. But while I have always endeavored to do my utmost to participate in and promote NAPABA in spite of a demanding dual career journey (i.e., military officer and corporate GC), the simple truth is that NAPABA has benefitted me in far greater ways than I could have ever hoped to repay the organization. Well, that’s until now….

Specifically, through NAPABA, I was able to accelerate my professional learning and development, truly hone my craft, and become a sound and confident legal practitioner. Through NAPABA, I developed an extensive understanding of law firm operations (both small and large), gained critical insight into the nuances of in-house corporate law departments (both private and public), and came to better appreciate the many other career opportunities available to me (e.g., non-profit, public interest, academia, government service, the judiciary, etc.). Through NAPABA, I had a forum to which I could bring my questions, problems and challenges, have discreet discussions with GC peers, and walk away with a “pocketful” of answers, solutions and ideas, without worry that my weaknesses or shortfalls would ever be exposed or exploited. Through NAPABA, I struck up countless relationships and was able to develop a vast and powerful network of mentors, colleagues and friends that I could rely on—and often have—as my go-to “lifeline.” Through NAPABA, I had a whole host of APA trailblazers who preceded me, paved ambitious paths, and created remarkable opportunities, thus providing me with an established viable voice within the industry and a powerful platform upon which to feed my aspirations, advance my career, and find greater fulfillment and reward in the legal profession.

So for me, it was NAPABA—and its enterprise of affiliates, leaders, members and programs—that helped open opportunities for me, enabled me to achieve multiple successes along my long journey, and ultimately facilitated my attaining leadership positions of increasing responsibility, authority and influence over a long and personally fulfilling career. For these reasons and more, I am truly indebted and forever grateful to NAPABA. And now that my military career is over and my C-suite days are behind me, I finally have the opportunity to give back to NAPABA by committing myself into the service of this great organization: Specifically, as President-Elect and in alignment with the organization’s well established legacy and long-standing strategic mission, I want others to enjoy the many benefits NAPABA offers like I did by helping lead the continued optimization of those efforts, initiatives and programs aimed at: (1) enhancing the professional development and growth opportunities for members of all types and at all levels; and (2) advancing the careers of its high-potential and high-performing members to attain an even greater proportion of those positions and roles carrying heightened responsibility, authority and influence. Together, we can enhance and empower the APA voice and promote greater justice, equity and opportunity for the benefit of the larger APA community.

Further, in keeping with the assigned responsibilities of the President-Elect and for the greater good of NAPABA’s membership, I will apply my extensive servant leadership skills, knowledge and expertise to: (1) help optimize NAPABA’s fundraising efforts and events to ensure the continued financial soundness of the organization so that the organization can continue grow and prosper; (2) through proper coordination, healthy communication, transparent collaboration, and true teamwork, ensure the presence of high-functioning and engaged board-staff TEAM; and (3) support any/all ongoing efforts to validate and update the organization’s current strategic plan to ensure NAPABA’s long-term strength and relevancy.

In support of my candidacy, I humbly highlight the following:

  • I have been involved with NAPABA for many years and was recognized as a NAPABA Trailblazer in 2008. I have worked primarily in support of the In-House Counsel Network, Military & Veterans Network and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. I have engaged with, supported or participated in events with, and/or served as the keynote speaker for numerous NAPABA affiliates, including AABANY, KALAGNY, AABA-KC, AABA-OH, APAPA-DC, FALA-DC, and DAABA. I supported the establishment of NFALA and currently serve as one of its board advisors. I have long supported and annually serve as a gala co-chair for AALDEF. I received AALDEF’s Justice in Action Award in 2011.
  • I served on the Minority Corporate Counsel Association board for over 13 years and was its board chair from 2017 to 2019. I was also a founding board member for the Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity.
  • I have other board experience and currently sit on the boards of Bellatorum Resources, St. Mary’s Hall, the World Affairs Council of San Antonio, the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas, and the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation. My past board service includes The Woods Academy, The United States Tennis Association, the American Red Cross, the Cincinnati Symphony, and the T. Howard Foundation.
  • I have served in numerous senior executive leadership positions in both the civilian and military sectors, including as GC/CLO at four (4) different companies and as commanding officer of six (6) military units. I retired as a Rear Admiral.
  • Other honors include: Nation’s Power List of Most Influential Minority Attorneys in 2015 & 2014; Most Influential Minorities in Cable in 2010, 2011 & 2012; the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati’s Lawyer of the Year Award in 2010 and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs Cincinnati Chapter’s Corporate Partner Award in 2009.

My candidacy is one grounded in servant leadership, and it would be a great honor for me to apply that same attribute in the service of NAPABA and its members. Thank you very much in advance for your support and confidence. You can reach me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/abcruziii.

Candidate Bio

A.B. Cruz III has helped lead four public and three private companies through challenge, crisis and change. He is also a former Navy Admiral who during his 33+ year career shaped and led high-performing operational teams in demanding, high-stress and ambiguous environments, and represented the U.S. internationally in multiple high-level engagements. A visionary leader of the highest character who has developed and implemented many value-/brand-building initiatives and is a highly respected thought leader on a wide array of topics.

A.B. was an SVP and GC at USAA, and before that, was EVP, GC, Secretary, CECO, and PAC chairman at Emergent BioSolutions. Earlier, he concurrently served as the Deputy Director of Operations for U.S. Fleet Forces Command and as EVP, CLO & Secretary for Scripps Networks Interactive. Before that, A.B. was the Deputy Commander at U.S. 4th Fleet/Naval Forces Southern Command, and EVP & GC for The E.W. Scripps Company.

A.B. holds a JD from Catholic University, an MA from The University of Maryland, and a BS from the U.S. Naval Academy. He is the immediate past board chairman of the MCCA, and currently serves on the boards of Bellatorum Resources, the World Affairs Council of San Antonio, and the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas. He also serves as a trustee, executive committee member and finance committee chair for Saint Mary’s Hall, and as a trustee and governance committee member for the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Foundation. A.B. is also a senior advisor at VetStoreUSA.


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NAPABA Affiliate Endorsements

Affiliate Name 
Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley
National Filipino American Lawyers Association
Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas


Individual Endorsements

*All work or organizational affiliations disclosed are for identification and disclosures purposes only, and do not constitute endorsements by those institutions. 

Name Company*
Ruthe Ashley
Ruthe Ashley 
Park Tai  White & Case LLP
Bettina Yip Petco
Michael Wu   
Paul W. Lee  Goodwin Procter LLP
Annette Kwok  Venable LLP 
Sidney Kanazawa  McGuireWoods LLP 
Parkin Lee  Rockefeller Group
Paul O. Hirose  Perkins Coie LLP 
Jack Chan  Law Office of Jack Chan LLC 
Bonnie Youn  The RMN Agency 
Andrew Hahn  Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
Sandra Yamate Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession 
Ireneo Reus III  The Reus Law Firm
Philip Angelo Nulud  Buchalter, A Professional Corporation
Vincent Roldan  Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler PC
Noel Vales  Robinson & Cole LLP
Laurie Rose Lubiano  The Climate Corporation 
Marty Lorenzo  Petco
Margaret Ling  Big Apple Abstract Corp 

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