Cristina Salazar Piñeiro’s professional experience began in 2006, when she helped coordinate and administer top executive incentive trips around the world for one of Puerto Rico’s most prominent insurance companies, Universal Group.  Immediately following this, she served as the right hand assistant to the business owner of Insight Group Communications & Marketing Design, developing various social responsibility projects for Universal Group’s foundation, Fundación Luis Miranda Casañas. She conceived and launched the Foundation’s first social responsibility program, a two-week leadership camp for at-risk teenagers from Iniciativa Comunitaria’s (Community Initiative’s) youth program, Brega Bien (Doing It Right). In 2012, she worked as an administrative assistant at Iniciativa Comunitaria’s International Health Brigades project serving communities in Haiti and Guatemala.

Cristina’s passion for volunteerism began when she was four years old, serving lunch and helping in the kitchen of senior citizens center in Old San Juan. In 2010, after returning from a year of studies in Madrid, Spain, she volunteered with Iniciativa Comunitaria, a community-based organization that provides free health, education and prevention services to the most vulnerable members of the community in Puerto Rico. She became Group Leader in the organization’s street medicine program, Operación Compasión, which uses mobile outreach teams of volunteers to provide a variety of services to the homeless population.

Born and raised in San Juan, Cristina graduated from University of Puerto Rico in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science centered on International Relations and Political Theory. From 2009 to 2010, she participated in a study abroad program at Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, where she invested her efforts in learning about geopolitics, foreign policy, and political theory from the European viewpoint.

Cristina strives to acquire the tools needed to provide the best service possible to communities in Puerto Rico, the United States, and the world. As a National Urban Fellow, she will accomplish her dream of receiving a great education, gaining invaluable insights and experience, and creating strong relationships with her colleagues as well as the National Urban Fellows network of Mentors and Alumni.