Wilfredo A. Ruiz, Esq. Bio

In addition to being an attorney, Wilfredo Amr Ruiz is also a Chaplain who obtained his baccalaureate in Arts at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, having studied his second year at Texas A & M University. Soon after, he attended the University of Puerto Rico’s Law School where he obtained a Juris Doctor degree and later was licensed and admitted to the legal practice in 1992. In 1993 he joined the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps where he acted as a Defense and Legal Assistance Counsel, representing service members on dozens of courts martial and military justice administrative boards.

Along with his honorable discharge, he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal in 1997. In 1998, he engaged in the private practice of the legal profession. In 2005, Ruiz decided to formalize his graduate studies in religion at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut where he was admitted to the master’s degree program in Islam and Christian-Muslim relations. Later, Wilfredo re-joined the Navy as a Naval Officer in the U.S. Navy Chaplain Officer’s Corps and attended the Navy Chaplain School at Newport, Rhode Island. He has worked as a chaplain in the Connecticut Valley Hospital, the main psychiatric institution of Connecticut and also as the Religious Services Specialist and Coordinator at the U.S. Homeland Security Immigration Service Processing Centers in Puerto Rico and Miami, Florida.

For the past several years, Ruiz has been a regular columnist in various Hispanic newspapers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Ruiz is a contributing scholar for the State of Formation, a project of the Inter-Religious Journal of the Auburn Seminary in partnership with the Hebrew College in collaboration with the Parliament of the World's Religions. He is also a writer and blogger for the Huffington PostHuffPost Latino Voices, as well as a guest columnist for a myriad of other publications in the United States. He founded the Puerto Rico and Connecticut chapters of The American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA) and is currently acting as its legal advisor.

Mr. Ruiz regularly engages in public presentations at colleges, universities, and schools, as well as professional, governmental, and civic institutions on a variety of topics involving religion, legal, and foreign policy. He is regularly interviewed and consulted on national and international media as an expert on politics of the Middle East and the Muslim World, Islam, and Christian-Muslim relations. These include: CNN, Univision, Telemundo, America Te Ve, Mega TV, V-Me TV, VOA, RT, CCTV, Venevisión, Radio France International, Caracol Radio, and multiple interventions in other media from Spain, Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Puerto Rico where he is co-host on a weekly radio program about International Politics and Foreign Policy. He has participated in international conferences in several cities in the United States as well as Chile, Argentina, Great Britain, and Turkey.

Wilfredo is currently the Communications Director for CAIR Florida having served as its civil rights legal counsel for over four years. Ruiz has been admitted and licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Military Appeals, U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Federal and First Circuit Courts, and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Supreme Court. Additionally, he has been certified by the U.S. Navy to be qualified and competent to perform duties as Trial and Defense Counsel of the General Courts Martial of the Armed Forces of the United States.

In his spare time, Ruiz assists various non-profit organizations such as the American Muslims for Emergency and Relief (AMER) and is also a board member of the South Florida Interfaith Workers Justice in Florida.

Amr (as he is often called) lives in South Florida with his family. He enjoys national and international traveling as well as reading up on theology, comparative religions, and international politics. In December of 2007, he had the opportunity to perform “Hajj” which is the major Islamic Pilgrimage to Mecca. His writings and interviews are cross-posted in his blog at www. analistainternacional.com.