Néstor Montilla Sr. is a political science and higher education administration leadership scholar/practitioner. He currently works in higher education administration at the The City University of New York (CUNY), the leading public urban university system in the United States. He manages adjunct faculty affairs in the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success at Lehman College.
Previously he served as Lehman College’s Director of Government Relations and Community Development undertaking the responsibility for lobbying and securing government funding for capital projects and initiatives advancing the mission of the University.
Along the past twenty-five years, Montilla has worked in difference capacities in higher education administration at The City University of New York, and particularly in the Office for University Relations. He served the University with distinction as Director of Public Relations, Director of Corporate and Community Relations, Director of Special Events for Corporate Development, Assistant Director for International Programs and Community Relations, faculty member, and television producer for public affairs. He started his career at the University in the early 1990s as a bilingual academic tutor in the departments of behavioral and social sciences and modern language.
Montilla is a national leader who has dedicated his adult life to advocate for the socio-economic and political advancement of U.S. diverse communities. His commitments and community service activities have included serving as appointed member of community planning boards of New York City in Manhattan and the Bronx, as member of The City University of New York’s Legislative Action Committee; Board Delegate of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey (LLANJ), a Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Latino Studies, and former founding president of the Reading Club of Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College.
He has been president of national nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organizations, including the Dominican American National Roundtable (danr.org).
Currently, he is president of the Latino Leadership Alliance, the oldest and largest Latino advocacy organization in the State of New Jersey.
He is also chairman of the National Dominican American Council (ndac-us.org), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC advocating for community advancement.
He has spearheaded dozens of national conventions, produced and published dozens of commemorative conference journals and has spearheaded several community empowerment initiatives such as developing and implementing national external relations programs, advocating for redistricting reform for fair political representation, and directing the Institute for Latino Studies‘ Latino Leadership Academy, a course to train the next generation of leaders in USA.
Montilla ran for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent New Jersey’s Congressional District 9 encompassing parts of Passaic, Bergen and Hudson Counties.
Montilla’s portfolio includes conceptualizing multiple Emmy award-winning television series about the challenges and rewards of getting a college education and Latinos in New York.
He also conceptualized and realized the coveted Illustrious Awards bestowed in September to distinguished Latinos in the Tri-State Area.
In addition, he has conducted research about the immigration experience in the Americas, and has published and produced various publications and original documentary films including Santiago’s Pamphleteers, Jewish Refugees in Sosua, Jewish Dominican Generations, Dominican Civilization, Diaspora & Identity, Dominicans in Rhode Island, NJ Dominicans, Los Chinos de Bonao, African American Settlers in Samana, Arabs in the Dominican Republic, Los Congos de Villa Mella, El Bani Negro, Haitians in the Dominican Republic, and among others, Dominican Identity & Migrations to Hispaniola, an original film-documentary showcasing the roots of the “indios” (Tainos, Ciguayos y Caribes), Spanish, African, African-American, Caribbean, European, Arabic, Jewish, Asian and Puerto Rican migrations to Hispaniola and how these groups have contributed to the multicultural richness of the Dominican people.
He has received numerous awards and recognition for his lifelong commitment to education, scholarship, community empowerment and mentoring. Some include: The Louis Niñe Award for his work, throughout his career, to expand educational opportunities for Latinos and U.S. diverse communities; the award was presented to him by the New York State Association of Black & Puerto Rican Legislators in Albany, NY; the Salomé Ureña de Henriquez bestowed by the President of the Dominican Republic; nominations for Emmy awards, several proclamations from federal, state and local politicians, proclamations from Bronx’s Community Board 7, and a recent recognition from students of the Latino Leadership Academy’s Class of 2017.
Montilla graduated from college with honors, earning an associate degree and both a bachelor’s degree and a master of public administration with specialization in human resources and management from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He also attended law school at the East Central University in the Dominican Republic.
He pursued a Ph.D. in Political Science at The City University of New York’s Graduate School and University Center.
Currently, he pursues a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.
He resides in New Jersey with his wife Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, a retired New Jersey court administrator and national leader, who has also dedicated her life to civic engagement and the socio-economic and political advancement of US diverse communities.
Nestor Montilla, Sr. and Adriano Espaillat at the Harvard Club in New York City. Photo by Eduardo Hoepelman.