On Friday, May 5, Maria Rodriguez, representing the New Florida Majority’s Board of Directors, announced to the NewFM online membership that they had named Andrea Cristina Mercado as the organiation’s next Executive Director, effective June 1st.
Below is the text of that email.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
When New Florida Majority’s founding Executive Director Gihan Perera told us earlier this Spring that he was stepping away from the organization to head to the Ford Foundation, those of us on the Board of Directors knew we had our work cut out for us. Though a visionary leader like Gihan was always going to be difficult to replace, we believed it our responsibility to find a new leader with the capacity to boldly lead the organization into its next phase of growth and development.
We are thrilled to say that after rigorously building and vetting a massive, highly-talented pool of applicants for the position over the last several months, we have found that leader. With great excitement and confidence, we are announcing today that Andrea Cristina Mercado, co-founder and Campaign Director of the National Domestic Worker Alliance (NDWA), with deep roots in South Florida, will become NewFM’s second Executive Director, effective June 1st.
Andrea is the kind the extraordinary leader that NewFM needs to build on Gihan’s groundbreaking legacy. 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 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.
Andrea’s roots in Florida run deep, including getting her organizing start fifteen years ago with NewFM’s ideological birthplace, the Miami Worker’s Center. At NDWA, Andrea developed national campaign strategy, provided guidance and support to state and local organizing strategies, built partnerships with grassroots and national organizations, led NDWA’s participation in movement building campaigns and served on the Management Team of the organization. In this role, she directed the We Belong Together campaign, integrating 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. 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.
In her life and work, Andrea has demonstrated a rare combination of ambition and humility, commitment to relationships and meaningful results. 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.
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It’s a new day at NewFM, one that wouldn’t have been possible without our Founding Executive Director, Gihan Perera. It goes without saying that we owe a tremendous debt to him for not only helping to build this organization and the Miami Workers Center, but also laying the groundwork for his successor. Seeing NewFM usher in a new leader without skipping a beat ultimately says a lot about him, his personal leadership style, the team he’s built and his dedication to social justice.
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.
We also are constantly indebted to you — our members, partners and supporters – for seeing us through this change and for making NewFM a unique source of activist energy. Florida is far from being the land of justice and opportunity that it needs to be. However, with your continued support, we can look forward to building a bright future – and the social, economic and political power of our communities – together.
New Florida Majority Board of Directors
Executive Director, Florida Immigrant Coaltion
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