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CEO Dr. José S. Villa to Retire in 2020

Dr. Villa - blog post

The Board of Directors of East Coast Migrant Head Start Project held its most recent meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, on January 10.   During the meeting, our esteemed Chief Executive Officer, Dr. José S. Villa, announced his intention to retire in April of 2020.

Palmetto - pic 1

Our ribbon-cutting ceremony at the ECMHSP Palmetto Center was led by Dr. Villa, CEO. Photo credit: Ted Hoffman

Dr. Villa’s accomplishments during his five years at the helm of ECMHSP have been significant.  ECMHSP has delivered high-quality and comprehensive Head Start services to more than 10,000 children under Dr. Villa’s leadership.  In addition, ECMHSP expanded services into Palmetto, Florida, and Jennings, Florida.  Since opening these two new centers, farmworker parents have been able to enroll more than 200 children to receive much-needed Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start services.  Furthermore, Dr. Villa executed an ambitious strategic plan and he led ECMHSP in the development of the new strategic plan that will secure our future growth in the coming years.

Dr. Villa is committed to working in partnership with the Board of Directors to plan a thoughtful succession of his responsibilities.  His successor will be identified by the ECMHSP Board of Directors and Policy Council prior to the end of 2019.  To ensure a smooth transition, Dr. Villa will provide mentorship to his successor during the first quarter of 2020, leading up to his retirement.


Dr. Villa visits one of our Head Start centers. 

“As we transition to the next phase of East Coast Migrant Head Start Project, I can assure our community that East Coast’s staff will continue to develop stronger programs and provide excellent services to the migrant and seasonal farmworker families we serve and their children,” says Dr. Villa.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead staff that, had it not been for them, these accomplishments would not have been possible. Furthermore, I am indebted to the Board of Directors and Policy Council members for having the faith in me that allowed me to lead this excellent organization.

“Finally, as the son of migrant parents and having experienced the life, and on behalf of the migrant workers, I tried to follow the belief of Robert F. Kennedy, as shared by his brother, Ted: [he] saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it.

“As I move into the next phase of my life, I will, one way or another, continue to advocate on behalf of migrants.”

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