Chairman Néstor Montilla, Ph.D.

Néstor Montilla, Ph.D., is a political science and higher education administration leadership scholar/practitioner. He currently works in higher education administration at 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 University’s mission.

Over the past twenty-five years, Montilla has worked in different higher education administration capacities at The City University of New York, particularly in the Office for University Relations. He served the University 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 behavioral and social sciences and Humanities.

Montilla is a national leader who has dedicated his life to advocating for socio-economic and political advancement. His commitments and community service activities have included serving as an 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 (, which spearheaded efforts to create a minority-majority congressional district in Northern Manhattan. 

He is currently chairman and president of the National Dominican American Council, 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. He has spearheaded 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 aimed at training the next generation of leaders in the USA.

Montilla spearheaded advocacy efforts to create a majority-minority congressional district in northern Manhattan and The Bronx. From producing redistricting maps to testifying before apportionment commissions in New York StateMassachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, to writing and publishing opinion articles, Montilla has led national, state, and local advocacy campaigns for fair political representation, inclusion, and the election of underrepresented multicultural Americans to the United States House of Representatives.

Following are background articles, testimonials, and materials documenting Montilla’s advocacy on redistricting:

Montilla ran for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent New Jersey’s Congressional District 9 encompassing Passaic, Bergen, and Hudson Counties.

Montilla’s portfolio includes conceptualizing for The City University of New York a 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 to distinguished Latinos.

Also, he has researched the immigration experience in the Americas. He 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 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’s of public administration with a 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.

He earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from Liberty University in Virginia.

Dissertation: A Phenomenological Exploration of Adjunct Faculty Perception of Job Satisfaction with Multi-Year Teaching Appointments

The list of his recent research papers include:

  • How do research purport Harvard as the first university in America?
  • Persistence to doctoral completion of Dominican American males at a US urban public university. 
  • A summary report about how the college presidency functions 
  • Traditional pathways and new trends leading to college presidency: Examining president’s role, tenure, challenges, contributions and retirement
  • Journal Analysis Paper on: What it takes to be a superior college president
  • Journal Analysis Paper on: Why university leaders fail and how to prevent it
  • The Montilla’s family educational genealogy
  • Introspective of a student affairs higher education officer at an urban public institution of higher learning
  • Analysis of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation
  • Collecting, analyzing, and reporting assessment data: Using results
  • Assessment Matters: improving Macdonald and Joughin’s Model
  • Phases, higher education adequacy and utility of the continuum of assessment essentials
  • Liberal Arts Education and General Education: Outcomes assessment at the course level
  • Utility of direct assessment methods in relation to general education outcomes in residential and distance education courses
  • Assessment of academic and non-academic programs and services

He resides in New Jersey with his wife, Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, a retired New Jersey court administrator and national leader who is the Executive Director of the Institute for Latino Studies. She has also dedicated her life to teaching, civic engagement, and the socio-economic and political advancement of U.S. diverse communities.

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President Néstor Montilla, Sr. and Bob Hugin.

Dr. Maria Teresa & Dr. Néstor Montilla, Sr. with Adriano Espaillat at the Harvard Club in New York City. Photo by Eduardo Hoepelman.

Dr. Néstor Montilla, Sr. and Adriano Espaillat at the Harvard Club in New York City. Photo by Eduardo Hoepelman.

Dr. Maria Teresa and Dr. Néstor Montilla, Sr. at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Mesa Redonda Dominico-Americana elige a Nestor Montilla presidente

El Nuevo Diario. – New York Por viernes 6 de marzo, 2009 Compartir   

NUEVA YORK.- El Dr. Néstor Montilla, reconocido académico, estudioso de los procesos socio-políticos de la comunidad dominicana, ha sido electo presidente de la Mesa Redonda Nacional Dominico-Americana (DANR por sus siglas en inglés). Montilla fue electo en una asamblea de la junta nacional de directores de la organización.

La DANR, que tiene sus oficinas en Washington, DC., integra en sus filas al liderazgo dominico-americano, establecido en varios estados de la unión americana, incluyendo a Puerto Rico, fue fundada en el 1997 y su principal objetivo es trabajar por el la influencia de los dominicanos establecidos en los Estados Unidos y por programas de salud, educación, desarrollo económico, derechos migratorios, participación cívica y otras conquistas sociales, económicas, políticas y culturales.

Montilla, quien actualmente desempeña las funciones de Director de Prensa y Relaciones Públicas de Hostos Community College, centro de altos estudios con una elevada población estudiantil de origen dominicano, prometió fortalecer la organización y su liderazgo participativo.

El congresista Charles Rangel al dirigirse a los asistentes al acto de elección de Montilla, destacó, refiriéndose a la DANR, que “éste es un grupo sofisticado de jóvenes profesionales que representan lo mejor de la comunidad dominico-americana en los Estados Unidos”.

Por su parte, el destacado educador Víctor Capellán, presidente saliente, consideró que Montilla llevará la organización a nuevos niveles, con sus destrezas y conocimientos, mientras que Cid Wilson, también ex presidente destacó que “con su liderazgo, cabildeo y estudios investigativos, Montilla contribuirá a fortalecer el trabajo de la institución que integra al liderazgo dominicano residente en los Estados Unidos”.

Montilla, además de sus funciones en Hostos Community College, forma parte de la Junta de Planeamiento Comunitario #5, desígnado por el presidente del Condado de El Bronx, Adollfo Carrión, quien recientemente fue nombrado por el presidente Barack Obama, Director de Política Urbana.

El perfil académico de Montilla incluye estudios de derecho en la Universidad Central del Este (UCE), en la República Dominicana, un Grado Asociado en Ciencias, en Hostos Community College y Bachillerato y Maestría en Administración Pública en John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Cursó estudios para recibir un Ph.D. en ciencias políticas. Obtuvo un Ph.D. o doctorado en filosofía y en educación con enfoque en administración y liderazgo de universidades.

Aportes históricos_culturales a los dominicanos

En el 2006 Montilla produjo el filme-documental Dominican Identity and Migrations To Hispaniola, que ilustra sobre la diversidad étnica y cultural de la República Dominicana. Este es el primer estudio-documental en su género producido en los Estados Unidos sobre la diversidad cultural dominicana.

Los panfleteros de Santiago

“Los Panfleteros de Santiago”, filme – documental investigativo, revela la historia inédita de 27 jóvenes que fueron torturados y asesinados en el 1960 por distribuir panfletos conteniendo mensajes adversos al dictador Rafael Leonidas Trujillo que gobernó la República Dominicana (1930-1961). El documental fue presentado recientemente en la Conferencia de los Dominicanos en Nueva Jersey con la presencia del doctor Negro Veras, connotado luchador antitrujillísta que formó parte del histórico grupo integrado por jóvenes conspiradores.

El documental incluye un libro sobre esa acción anti-trujillísta. Fue preparado en coordinación con la doctora María Teresa Montilla, presidenta de la Conferencia de los Dominicanos en Nueva Jersey, celebrada recientemente y del Instituto para Estudios Latinos.


Montilla ha recibido reconocimientos por sus contribuciones al desarrollo de la comunidad hispana en los campos educativos y laborales, entre los que figuran de la Asociación de Legisladores Negros y Puertorriqueños y The Louis Nine Award.