2013 Gold Nugget Recipient: David A. Montoya
DAVID A. MONTOYA
B.S. IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 1986
COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS
As the first Hispanic inspector general of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Honorable David A. Montoya knows that UTEP was a critical part of his career path.
After graduating from Ysleta High School in 1979, Montoya was interested in a service career, and his studies at UTEP guided him to Criminal Justice.
“I felt like it satisfied all of my interests,” he said. “It gave me an ability to provide service to the community, it allowed me to understand the social aspects of communities, and taught me the psychology behind why people do certain things.”
Montoya worked as a sales agent for Continental Airlines during the six years it took him to complete his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Almost 26 years old at graduation in 1986, Montoya was ready to hit the ground running with law enforcement. He had his opportunity with the Drug Enforcement Administration. For six years he worked as a criminal investigator/special agent in the Rocky Mountain Division in Denver.
Montoya progressed to fighting white collar crime, moving to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigations Division, where he rose through the ranks to become deputy director. He later joined the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Inspector General as the assistant inspector general for investigations before arriving at his current position, for which he was nominated by President Obama in July 2011.
Montoya is proud to have given himself a college education with no debt upon graduation. He encourages current students who may be in the same boat not to give up.