Veronica Villalobos Cruz serves as Senior Govt Affairs Advisor for CA FWD and is the Managing Partner at Cruz Strategies. Prior to joining the firm, she served as the Vice President of External Relations for the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) for approximately four years. At AICCU, she represented seventy-five plus private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the state legislature that served over 320,000 students in California. She advocated on behalf of student access, financial aid, teacher preparation and a variety of university academic and operational issues.
Previously, Villalobos Cruz served as the Executive Director of Office of State Government Relations for the University of Southern California (USC) since May 2007. Based in Sacramento, she represented USC, including its medical and research facilities, before the state legislature and state government agencies on matters related to state policy, budget and regulations, and advised the university administration on issues involving state officials. She worked to advance the university’s academic, research and public affairs agendas at the state level through profile-raising efforts.
Before joining USC, Villalobos Cruz spent more than six years as Vice President of Public Affairs for AICCU. Villalobos Cruz serves on the board of directors for the Planned Parenthood Mar Monte Advocates and has been a longstanding volunteer for the Chicano/Latino Youth Leadership Project and the Sacramento City College PUENTE program. Villalobos Cruz graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in political science and obtained a master’s degree in public policy from USC.