Even as a child, Miriam Enriquez never doubted what shape her career would take. “I don’t remember ever wanting to be anything other than an attorney,” she says. As for her source of inspiration, that too is clear. “My father, who died when I was very young, was an attorney,” she explains. “Growing up, I was always hearing about him and that influenced my decision to pursue the law.”
Today, Enriquez serves as assistant deputy general counsel at Comcast. The media and telecommunications company has its headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Enriquez was born and where she dedicated more than a decade of her career to public service after law school. The skills that she honed during that period remain applicable to her work at Comcast, as does her commitment to innovation, relationship-building, and justice-oriented advocacy.
Although her life began in Philadelphia, Enriquez moved to Central America as a baby. Her family’s roots are in Nicaragua, and she spent time there and elsewhere in the region before returning to the United States at the age of seven. Once she had learned English, she worked hard to excel in her studies, from grade school to college to law school.
Upon graduating with her JD, however, she diverged from the path chosen by the majority of her graduating class. “In law school, many of my classmates went to work at firms and followed that traditional route,” she says. “I chose public service instead because it gets at the core of who I am. I’m a mission-driven person, and everything that I’ve done in my professional career has been with that in mind.”
Eager to make a difference in her community, Enriquez started out as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office. She stood up for the victims and witnesses of crimes, even when others did not. “There were many times when I was the only person advocating for the victims. I very much viewed my role as a prosecutor as ensuring that justice was done for all, which sometimes meant ensuring that the defense attorney was doing everything they needed to be doing for their client as well,” she says.
Enriquez continued her advocacy for the people of Philadelphia in subsequent roles with city council and the Office of Immigrant Affairs, the latter of which she directed for several years. The roles allowed her to expand her understanding of government, policy work, and legislation while addressing real problems faced by Philadelphia residents––among them, the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who call the city home.
“My approach while in government was always centered around listening to stakeholders and building partnerships,” Enriquez says. “In addition to leading the office, I developed, honed, and managed meaningful relationships with our immigrant communities, local and national advocacy organizations, the private sector, nonprofits, and governmental counterparts throughout the country.”
Enriquez also took an innovative approach towards immigrant inclusion that included spearheading the effort to make the Office of Immigrant Affairs a permanent part of Philadelphia’s municipal landscape—which elevated the city’s status as a national leader in immigration policy. This was especially evident when the office, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, hosted immigration and legal leaders from major US cities to learn from Philadelphia’s innovative approach.
In searching for her next step, Enriquez was looking for a place that took a similar position to Philadelphia. “I saw Comcast as a place that was constantly leading, being innovative, and challenging itself to improve. That’s what I had been doing in my career and also what I was looking for in a company,” she says.
Enriquez’s responsibilities at Comcast require her to build partnerships in much the same way that she did while in city government. She leverages her relationships and innovative spirit to oversee compliance and ethics investigations and resolve legal-related issues both efficiently and effectively. But she takes equal pride in her contributions outside the legal department. For instance, in 2020, she collaborated with colleagues on the conception and implementation of a voter education and civic engagement initiative that capitalized on the voice-activated technology in Comcast remote controls.
Furthermore, as a leader within Unidos, Comcast’s employee resource group for Latinos, Enriquez supports the development of Latino talent across the organization––and in the field of law at large. “We all know that representation matters. Thinking about my own legal career, I didn’t really see many Latinas in the spaces in which I practiced. I still remember walking into a courtroom and for the first time, seeing a Latina lawyer speaking to the jury,” she says. “I thought to myself, ‘If she can do it, so can I.’”
Enriquez believes strongly in the need for more Latina attorneys, especially in light of recent statistics indicating that a disproportionately low number––only about 5 percent––of all US lawyers are Latino and that an even lower number––less than 2 percent––are Latina. “Every aspect of our society is affected by the law. Attorneys are our lawmakers, policymakers, politicians, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and in-house corporate counsel,” she says. “So in order for us to be represented, we need to have representation within the law. Increasing the number of Latina lawyers would have a profound impact.”
At Comcast, Enriquez plans to continue fostering a diverse and inclusive atmosphere that makes it easier for Latinas and members of other underrepresented groups to envision themselves as meaningful participants and leaders in the space. “When you have a workforce that is as diverse as the people you serve, you find yourself more equipped with the various views, perspectives, ideas, and a greater level of innovation necessary for better serving all people,” she says. As for her own service, Enriquez still has no doubts that she’s on the right path. “I have always worked to leave this world better than I found it,” she says. “And that is incredibly fulfilling.”