A.B. CRUZ III has helped lead four public and three private companies—spanning several very different highly regulated industries—through challenge, crisis and change. He is a retired Navy Admiral who throughout his 33+ years of service shaped and led numerous high-performing operational military teams in demanding, high-stress and ambiguous environments. A visionary leader of the highest character, A.B. has developed and implemented value-driven business initiatives, including: strategic M&As, digital/technology transformations, capital restructurings, financings, spin-offs and divestitures; comprehensive enterprise risk reduction & management programs and risk appetite frameworks; problem-solving compliance and internal audit initiatives; and several highly effective talent and leadership development programs. He is a respected and credible thought leader on corporate governance, crisis management, risk mitigation, strategic & operational planning & execution, leadership development, culture-shifting, workforce optimization and diversity & inclusion.
A.B. was most recently a senior vice president and divisional general counsel at USAA, a Fortune 100 financial services company offering insurance, banking and investing products and services to primarily military members and their families. He led the legal teams that supported USAA’s C-suite members and their organizations. Exercising well-honed leadership skills, A.B. spearheaded the optimization of the chief legal office’s operating and interaction models to ensure USAA’s legal teams were well-positioned to support and help drive the company’s achievement of its strategic objectives, including its ongoing technology transformation. To foster USAA’s future growth and competitiveness, A.B. reviewed and approved new products and services as a member of the company’s New Activity Approval Committee.
Prior to USAA, A.B. was executive vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary, chief compliance officer, and PAC chairman for Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. Before Emergent, A.B. concurrently served as the deputy director of maritime operations for U.S. Fleet Forces Command and as executive vice president, chief legal officer & corporate secretary for Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. Prior to that, A.B. was the deputy commander for both U.S. 4th Fleet and Naval Forces Southern Command, and served as the executive vice president & general counsel for The E.W. Scripps Company.
A.B. holds a JD from The Catholic University of America, an MA in marketing from The University of Maryland, and a BS in general engineering & physical sciences from U.S. Naval Academy. A.B. has served on numerous boards of directors and advisory boards, and currently chairs the Minority Corporate Counsel Association board of directors, is a trustee and governance committee member for the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation, and a senior advisor to VetStoreUSA, Bellatorum Resources and Mission:Readiness.