Notable alumni profile: Madura Wijewardena, AM'17
The DC Alumni Association will be recognizing notable, local alumni each month.
Madura Wijewardena, AM'17, graduated from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and is the Vice President of Global Public Policy at Comcast Corporation. He works across Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. He leads broadband market structure analysis. This includes analysis of competitive, market and regulatory trends, and being part of M&A teams. Madura also supports research on broadband adoption, including supporting Comcast Internet Essentials, which is the nation’s largest multipronged program to increase broadband adoption in low-income families. He also leads strategic partnerships with external thought leaders and experts. Madura started with Comcast in 2013 as a Senior Director, and was promoted to Executive Director in 2015 and then to Vice President in 2017.
Prior to joining Comcast, Madura was the Director of Research at the National Urban League (NUL). NUL is one of the oldest African-American civil rights organizations, and one of the largest providers of education, healthcare and other services. He was responsible for demographic and macroeconomic research, and online community building campaigns to drive reputation and public opinion.
Prior to NUL, Madura was a Data Analyst at Rob Paral & Associates, a boutique analytics consulting firm in Chicago where he used demographic data analysis to assist clients to target service delivery and influence public opinion. He was also a community organizer in President Barack Obama’s first campaign in Chicago.
Prior to the University of Chicago, Madura was a transactions attorney for eight years in Australia with clients in Australia, Asia and the Middle East. He structured and negotiated complex tech, telecom and media deals including strategic alliances, joint ventures, acquisitions and network deployments. He also managed due diligence and integration teams. He was also based in client businesses in Hong Kong and Thailand. Madura graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia, with a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting.
In his first few weeks at the University of Chicago, he was surprised by its serious and earnest culture. Madura believes this was probably because he arrived from Sydney, Australia, which had a contrasting culture. At the time, the joke that Chicago is "where fun comes to die" made sense. But after a while, he came to appreciate the seriousness, if not the earnestness, and above all, Chicago’s analytical rigor and freedom of inquiry. Madura says, "Now that I am in the workforce, especially in a city like Washington where analytical rigor is not high, my admiration for and pride in the University of Chicago’s culture is boundless."