Brandon Mancilla was elected UAW Region 9A Director in December 2022 in the first ever direct elections for the International Executive Board.  

Mancilla was the first President of UAW Local 5118, (Harvard Graduate Students Union) in Cambridge, MA. His experience with Local 5118 began as a rank-and-file organizer. After beginning graduate school at Harvard University, he joined the organizing drive which delivered one of the largest private sector organizing victories in the last 20 years. During the 29-day long strike of 2019, he was on the strike coordinating team planning university disruptions. He joined the temporary organizing staff at HGSU in January 2020, while he also worked as a teaching and research assistant for the university. In 2020, he was elected President of the local. As President, Mancilla helped build the new local with an emphasis on developing member-led committees to address contract enforcement, anti-harassment organizing, and campus and Boston-area labor solidarity efforts. Under his leadership, Local 5118 went back on strike and won a successor contract in 2021.  

Mancilla has also worked for UAW Local 2325 (Association of Legal Aid Attorneys) in New York City as a local staff organizer. He joined the local staff at an exciting time with their significant growth in membership and organizing victories at new shops in the legal services sector. He worked directly with members and shop leaders to organize bargaining campaigns and enforce existing contracts. At UAW 2325, he led negotiations on first contract bargaining campaigns and successor agreements, conducted new organizing drives, and designed and led delegate and Bargaining Committee member trainings.  

He was born into a working-class Guatemalan immigrant family in New York City. His commitment to building worker power comes in large part from his experience seeing how union membership allowed his family to achieve a level of stability and job protections that working-class immigrants in non-union jobs rarely have. Shortly after his family left Guatemala during the brutal civil war in the 1980s, his grandfather joined a union in the packaging industry in Long Island in the 1980s when Central American immigrants worked overwhelmingly in non-union jobs.  

Mancilla has a Master’s Degree in history from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Williams College. He currently lives in Queens, New York.