“I am a product of sacrifice,” says Anais Carmona. “The more that I think about it and reflect on how I got here, it always seems to go back to my parents and that narrative of so many Mexican Americans who worked hard and propelled themselves in a way that words just can’t do justice.”
While Carmona’s pride in her parent’s accomplishments is evident, she, too, has had her own part in distinguishing herself as a motivated and energized promoter of Latino values, interests, and representation on Capitol Hill—and beyond. In fact, Carmona is one of the youngest lobbyists on the Hill, where there are few other Latina advocates in tech and telecommunications.
She is the senior manager of federal government affairs and strategic alliances at T-Mobile. As an example of her day-to-day life, this past May she participated in the Center of American Progress (CAP) US-Mexico Leaders Initiative in San Diego, Tijuana, and Mexico City. The program included more than thirty-five briefings and presentations aimed at helping foster better relations between the two countries. “I had the opportunity to represent myself and my company, and meet with one of the largest cellular carriers in Mexico to discuss 5G, spectrum, and the future of wireless in Mexico,” she says.
One of the nonprofit programs she encountered during her trip had an especially enduring effect on Carmona. “We met with an organization called Hola Code who works with ‘returnees’—those who spent their entire lives in the United States and have been deported to Mexico,” Carmona says. “This is an amazing continuation of a conversation that we in America only hear about as ‘deportation;’what happens to someone who, in their very being, believes they’re an American and has formed a social contract with a country that doesn’t want them? Hola Code takes this overlooked population and teaches them how to code and enter the workforce.”
Helping the underserved and overlooked is a personal mission for Carmona, who was excited to join T-Mobile because of its high number of women of color in its Government Affairs team. “Of the twelve people on our immediate federal legislative team, nine of us are women and four of us are women of color,” Carmona says. “I’ve always been very proud to be Mexican American and to speak Spanish, and I was so glad to find a company where that was appreciated and valued.”
Helping the underserved and overlooked is a personal mission for Carmona, who was excited to join T-Mobile because of its high number of women of color in its Government Affairs team.
Carmona says that, of T-Mobile’s customer base, 64 percent is diverse and 31 percent is Hispanic. “That’s an obvious reason for me as a Latina to really make sure that we hone in on diversity and inclusion and that we’re bringing technology and 5G to all Americans, including low-income consumers and those in rural locations,” she says. “There’s a very special place for the Latino customer in our business model.”
To double down on her commitment to her culture, Carmona’s work with the Hispanic Lobbyists Association is helping to raise awareness in Washington, DC, to issues related to Latinos. She’s not only the youngest board member, but the youngest VP of the organization to date. The now all-female executive board has rebooted, rebranded, and broken fundraising records for its annual Avanza Awards (which Carmona hosted this year). “We have paved the way for diversity across our profession and promoted the important role of Latino professionals in the industry,” she says.
In her continuing work, Carmona says she always tries to remember her parents, including her father, who has taught her the importance of dedication, education, and hard work, and her mother, whom Carmona says is, “the strongest, most outspoken and passionate advocate for our family that I’ve ever known.”
As long as she feels she’s embodying her parents’ work ethic and passion, she knows she’s on the right course.
Photo: Rodney Choice