Since August 2014, José Carlos Montes has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB), assuming the leadership of this $16M comprehensive human services organization with nearly 300 trained multicultural, multilingual, interdisciplinary, and socially-conscious staff, which provides early childhood, youth, family, energy conservation, immigration, housing, and community service access services to approximately 30,000 individuals annually in 14 sites across central New Jersey. In this capacity, he actively participates in several health and immigration committees and workgroups.
Mr. Montes comes to PRAB from the Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs (NAICA), where he served from 2013 to 2014 as the Deputy/Facility Director of the Transitional Housing Program for 249 homeless single men. He oversaw the building operations of the two 365-day, 24-hour employment transitional housing facilities, and led the redesign of the social services operations.
Before NAICA, Mr. Montes served for over 10 years as the Special Assistant to the President/Chief Operating Officer of the Latino Pastoral Action Center (LPAC) in the Bronx. He managed the day-to-day administrative affairs of the organization’s international, national, citywide, and community-based operations, particularly fund development, administration, and facilities management. He also directed its local and national capacity building initiatives, for which he produced the programmatic and administrative materials, and developed and maintained partnerships with scores of community and faith-based organizations. Moreover, he launched the organization’s Fatherhood Initiative, having developed a Father’s Circle life skills curriculum, led Father’s Circles in community and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, and organized group activities such as community service projects and recognition ceremonies.
Before LPAC, Mr. Montes served for over four years as the Program Officer for Youth Development at the Edward W. Hazen Foundation, where he managed a $1 million youth development grantmaking portfolio, wrote and spoke extensively on youth development and youth organizing, and co-founded the $5 million Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing. Prior to Hazen, he worked for five years at ASPIRA of New York, a Puerto Rican/Latino youth development and educational advocacy organization, where he was Director of the AmeriCorps Community Education Project, Development Associate, and Coordinator of the Youth Leadership Development and College/Career Advisement Programs. Before ASPIRA, he was a crime prevention organizer at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association in Chicago.
A fervent supporter of youth, family, and community development efforts, Mr. Montes has raised over $60 million toward community and faith-based initiatives. He also has provided thousands of hours of pro bono capacity building assistance to fledgling institutions. Committed to Puerto Rican/Latino issues, he co- founded ASPIRA of Connecticut in New Haven while in college, through which he helped increase the number of Latino administrators and teachers in the New Haven public schools. He also served as board member of the Family Life Academy Charter School in the Bronx, one of the largest providers of quality education to K-8 English Language Learners in New York State.
Mr. Montes is an ordained minister, and since 2011 has been the Associate Pastor and Elder of the non- denominational Sanctuary Church in the Bronx. He is a writer, teacher, trainer, speaker, and advocate of captivity theology and holistic ministry, and has produced dozens of related materials. With Reverend Doctor Raymond Rivera, he co-wrote the book, Liberty to the Captives: Our Call to Minister in a Captive World. He also has taught, co-taught, and assisted in courses at several NYC seminaries, including Urban Community Development, Urban Theology, the Church as a Social and Cultural Institution, the Urban Church and the Poor, the Church and the Urban World, and the Church and Community Engagement.
Mr. Montes is a product of the South Bronx and its public schools. He holds a Master of Divinity in Bible and Theology from the Alliance Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Yale University. He and his wife Isabel have two children, Danilo and Sara, and reside in central New Jersey. He also has nine siblings and over 25 nieces and nephews.
Updated October 2015