Silvia Villa named Director of IDHS' Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.


February 26, 2014

Januari Smith (217) 558-1544

Silvia Villa

CHICAGO, Illinois - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has named Silvia Villa as the new Director of the Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs (OHLA). OHLA provides assistance that fosters and enhances IDHS delivery of services to the Hispanic/Latino community and those that speak limited English.

"Silvia brings a wealth of knowledge, creativity and energy to her new position," IDHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler said. "Silvia has extensive experience in education and management and is a well-respected leader and advocate in the Chicagoland immigrant and Latino community."

OHLA serves as the primary liaison to government officials and community organizations to develop partnerships and eliminate barriers in the delivery of programs and services to the Hispanic/Latino community.

Villa has been with IDHS since 2007, serving as the Executive Director of the Illinois Welcoming Centers-the first of its kind Integrated Service Model in the State of Illinois. Her career has been dedicated to improving opportunities and ensuring rights for immigrant and Latino communities. Villa stated, "I am both honored and humbled to accept this opportunity to serve the Latino communities in our state."

Prior to joining IDHS, Villa was the Director of the Cicero Berwyn Initiative for Education Excellence, an initiative of the Chicago Teachers' Center of Northeastern Illinois University. She was also the Assistant Director of the Rafael Cintron Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Villa has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Sociology and a Master Degree in Education and Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also a candidate for a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership.

Villa began her new position on February 1, 2014.