Karen Hughes

Karen Hughes has more than 30 years of communications and public relations experience during a career that has spanned media, politics, public relations, journalism, communications, and the highest levels of government. She has traveled to more than 50 countries and most recently served as U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2005-2007. In that role, Hughes led several thousand public diplomacy professionals working in almost every country in the world, participated in foreign policy development and oversaw three State Department bureaus: International Information Programs, Educational and Cultural Affairs, and Public Affairs. She served as Counselor to President George W. Bush in the White House from 2001 to 2002. Her title of "Counselor" reflected her role as a strategic advisor to President Bush, and she also led and managed the White House Offices of Communications, Press Secretary, Media Affairs and Speechwriting. Hughes was the Communications Director and one of the three people who led President Bush's successful presidential campaign in 2000, and she served as a communications consultant on his 2004 re-election campaign. She worked for five years as Director of Communications in the Texas Governor's office (1995-1999) and directed communications during Governor Bush's successful campaign for Texas governor in 1994 and his campaign for re-election in 1998. As Executive Director of the Texas Republican Party from 1992 until 1994, Hughes managed all aspects of the party's operations from candidate recruitment to fundraising. She served as a public relations consultant and frequent spokesman for the Republican Party in Texas throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. She was the Director of Media Relations for Halcyon Associates, a boutique public relations/public affairs company in Dallas, from 1987 until 1990. She worked on numerous political, issue and bond campaigns in Dallas in the 1980s and early 1990s and was the Texas press coordinator for the Reagan-Bush '84 campaign. She started her career as a journalist, working as a television reporter for KXAS-TV (NBC affiliate) in Dallas-Fort Worth, where she covered everything from tornadoes to the Texas Legislature from 1977 until 1984. She is the author of “Ten Minutes from Normal,” a book about her experiences working for President Bush and her decision to leave the White House and move with her family home to Texas in 2002. Hughes is a Phi Beta Kappa and received a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Journalism from Southern Methodist University in 1977. She is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and a long-time Sunday School teacher. She is married to attorney Jerry Hughes and has two children, Leigh and Robert.