Veteran organizer and manager excited to pick up the liberation struggle in her native state
Miami – New Florida Majority named veteran organizer and current Campaign Director of the National Domestic Worker Alliance (NDWA), Andrea Mercado, its new Executive Director, effective June 1st.
“Andrea is the kind the extraordinary leader that NewFM needs to build on Gihan’s groundbreaking legacy,” wrote NewFM Board member and Florida Immigrant Coalition Executive Director Maria Rodriguez said in a statement emailed to the organization’s members. “She has proven experience as an organizational leader, manager and fundraiser, with an ability to build and lead at a significant scale and get real results.”
“I am thrilled to be joining NewFM as its Executive Director,” said Mercado. “For me, it’s a unique chance to fight for racial justice and equality, by continuing to build and harness community-centered power in the place that I grew up in and where I am raising my daughters.”
Mercado was part of the founding staff at NWDA and performed a number of key roles, including developing national campaign strategy, providing guidance and support to state and local organizing strategies, building partnerships with grassroots and national organizations and lead NDWA’s participation in movement building campaigns. As a member of the organization’s Management Team, she directed the We Belong Together campaign, integrated a gender lens into the immigrant rights movement, built a new electoral program, and launched a c4 initiative – the Domestic Worker Legacy Fund – to advance the rights and socio-economic well-being of nannies, housekeepers and caregivers.
Rodriguez noted that In her work at NDWA and throughout her career, Andrea has demonstrated deep political and ideological alignment with NewFM, including a strong focus on racial justice. She also mentioned Mercado’s deep Florida roots, including her organizing start at the Miami Worker’s Center.
“In her life and work, Andrea has demonstrated a rare combination of ambition and humility, commitment to relationships and meaningful results,” wrote Rodriguez. “And just as important as the amazing work she’s done, Andrea is passionately invested in this political moment to driving the change we need in the place where she grew up and where she’s raising her family.”
The announcement concludes an executive search that was begun just two months ago when Founder Gihan Perera announced that he was stepping down to join the Ford Foundation as a Program Officer.
“Andrea is a rare combination of humility, warmth, and fierceness,” said Perera. “She is a humble public servant and facilitative leader who sees her greatest legacy in the lives of the leaders she has served. She is also a strong contender who is clear what is at stake and will fight for our people and our communities.”
Perera was sure that Mercado would step comfortably into the role.
“It’s clear to me why the Board choose her to lead NewFM in our next stage of development,” said Perera. “At NDWA, Andrea helped lead a multiracial membership organization that built social, economic and political power of domestic workers, many of whom were Black and Latina women who had never been a part of an organized movement. She not only sees the intersectionality of our work, but believes it as key to restoring the equity and equality that our democracy promises but often fails to deliver.”
Before co-founding NDWA, Andrea served as Organizing Director at Mujeres Unidas y Activas in California, spearheading a successful effort to pass that state’s Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. But it was her desire to do work in her native state that led her to offer her candidacy for the Executive Director role.
“Professionally and spiritually, I needed to be part of a vibrant local resistance that defends and builds power for working class communities of color, especially in one of the nation’s key battleground states,” said Mercado. “With the intense attacks on our communities and democracy itself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to engage in this battle for our shared liberation alongside the NewFM community and the amazing leadership team that Gihan has assembled.”
Victricia Chandler, NewFM’s current Chief of Staff, will serve as Interim Director and be the organization’s main point of contact until Andrea begins in June.