Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja has appointed Joseph Kevin Pangelinan Villagomez to the position of Family Court Manager for the Commonwealth Superior Court effective Feb. 26, 2013.
The Family Court Division is responsible for the processing and management of the family court docket, assisting the designated family court judges, administering services affecting self-represented and/or indigent litigants, and collaborating interagency efforts with network partners within and outside the CNMI.
Villagomez graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Tumon, Guam, in 1977 and earned his bachelor's in Psychology from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington in 1982. He subsequently earned his master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire in 1996.
Villagomez also completed the Executive Education Program titled “Managing Health Programs in Developing Countries” conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts in 1996 and the Robert Wood Johnson State Health Leadership Initiative Program conducted by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2008.
With his progressive experience in preventive health, mental health, and substance abuse services, Villagomez's tenure in numerous leadership positions also availed him of partnership roles in the criminal justice system and related community and social service networks.
Villagomez's employment history began with the CNMI Department of Public Health in March 1992 where he served as an associate clinical psychologist until August 1996. He then served as the director of the Division of Mental Health & Social Services from August 1996 to January 1998. In January 1998, he was appointed as the Secretary of Public Health where he oversaw healthcare policies for the entire CNMI until January 2002. From January 2002 to January 2006, he served the CNMI Community Guidance Center as a substance abuse professional/counseling psychologist. From January 2006 to October 2011, Villagomez once again served as Public Health secretary, completing this tenure at the department's transition into a corporation.
After appointing Villagomez, Naraja stated: “The CNMI Judiciary is proud to welcome Joseph Villagomez into its trial court management team and looks forward to his continued commitment to public service in the areas of family and the law.”
Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo, a designated family court jurist, also welcomed the appointment: "I am very happy with the appointment of Joseph Villagomez to this critical position. His expertise will complement the family court and other trial court service areas.” (NMI Judiciary)