Outstanding Alum Award History and Art History

Presented annually to a student who has achieved distinction after graduating with a George Mason degree in History or Art History.

2024 Awardee

Miriam Enriquez

Miriam Enriquez

Miriam Enriquez, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Miriam Enriquez is a presidential appointee serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a position she has held since December 2021. In this role, she serves as the liaison between the Secretary of Homeland Security, his senior department leadership, and elected officials at the local, county, state, tribal, and territorial levels.  Enriquez leads the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs’ (IGA) outreach and engagement strategies on immigration, cyber emergencies, emergency management, and community impact related issues, effectively building state, county, and local advocacy capacity.  While at DHS, Enriquez has spearheaded the creation, implementation, and evaluation of key Indian Country serving programs and policies facilitating access to grant funding and mediating tribal consultations and trainings for the 475 federally recognized tribes. During her tenure, history was made with the creation of the first ever Tribal Homeland Security Advisory Council to advise the Secretary on homeland security policies and practices that affect Indian Country and Indigenous communities. 

Prior to joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Enriquez served as Assistant Deputy General Counsel in the compliance and ethics function at Comcast Cable, with a focus on building a culture of ethical business conduct. She conducted and directed internal investigations of potential violations of laws, regulations, policies, and the company’s Code of Conduct. 

For over a decade, Enriquez served in local government for the City of Philadelphia. As Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s appointed Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Enriquez advised the Mayor and his administration on all strategic initiatives, public policy, law enforcement and criminal justice issues related to immigrants and refugees. During her tenure, she expanded the city's citizenship initiatives, language access program, immigrant workers' rights, workforce development and cultural programs, and helped launched a municipal ID and deportation defense programs. In addition to overseeing these programs, she spearheaded the legislative effort to make the Office of Immigrant Affairs a permanent part of Philadelphia's Home Rule Charter. 

Before joining Immigrant Affairs, Enriquez served as the principal policy and legislation advisor for City Council member, Dennis M. O’Brien. In this capacity, she developed a policy and legislative agenda focused on public safety, education, immigration, special needs, the environment, and the criminal justice system. She drafted, negotiated, and helped pass a comprehensive indigent conflict counsel legislative package and worked on an anti-blight bill, a missing and endangered person alerting system expansion bill, legislation to secure large vacant buildings, and landmark legislation to protect immigration services consumers that has served as a model for other jurisdictions. Prior to her role with City Council, she served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for over seven years. 

Prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security, Enriquez was a lecturer of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she taught professional responsibility in public interest practice. 

Enriquez received her B.A. with distinction from George Mason University and her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law, The Pennsylvania State University, where she attended on a full-academic scholarship and received awards in the areas of Immigration Law and Civil Rights Litigation. She was born in the United States but spent much of her childhood living in several different Latin American countries, including her family’s country of origin, Nicaragua.