AAPI Heritage Month Spotlight: Leading a Life of Service with Art delaCruz

To continue our celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we spoke with Art delaCruz, Chief Executive Officer of Team Rubicon, one of Ford Philanthropy's closest partners. Team Rubicon is a veteran-led humanitarian organization that helps communities before, during, and after disasters and crises across the globe. A former Top Gun instructor with over 22 years of experience in the US Navy, Art is now dedicated to a new mission: easing and eliminating suffering in communities worldwide.


Left side of the image, male with short cut dark hair, wearing putty coloured Team Rubicon polo shirt with Rubicon shirts hanging on the wall behind him. Right side of the image, “My leadership style has been shaped by my Filipino heritage in different ways during my career.” Art delaCruz, Chief Executive Officer of Team Rubicon.

Art reflects on his Minnesotan upbringing as the son of Filipino immigrants. "In my small-town community, I learned how important it is to keep the peace and take care of each other – my Filipino culture has fostered (in me) a strong passion for being a part of a team," he says. These lessons have been Art's guiding light, both during his military service and in civilian life. As a Naval officer, Art learned to appreciate the importance of representation in the military for Filipinos and other Pacific Islanders personnel, particularly in officer ranks. While commanding an FA-18 fighter squadron aboard the USS George Washington, he was often greeted by AAPI sailors in Tagalog. Art shares, "I understood then that I represented each of them."


After leaving the military in 2013, Art quickly missed his close-knit community, sense of identity, and fulfilling purpose that had defined his career. In 2016, he jumped at the opportunity to serve with Team Rubicon. Drawing from his military experience and ability to overcome challenges in unpredictable situations, Art now leads Team Rubicon with a blend of resilience and compassion. He feels most proud when donors, volunteers, and agency partners join forces to uplift people during times of crisis.


Learn more about Team Rubicon Powered by Ford, Ford's five-year commitment includes a fleet of vehicles, philanthropic investment and an incredible employee volunteer effort. Connect with the Ford Volunteer Corps at volunteer@Ford.com to deploy with Team Rubicon or volunteer with other Ford Philanthropy partners.