Mary K. Hughes JD’74, member of the Willamette University Board of Trustees, was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the country’s leading voice for higher education governance. She is the first trustee from Willamette to be appointed to AGB’s board.
From Anchorage, Alaska, Hughes is a civic leader and attorney who’s been a university trustee since 1997. She serves on the Advancement Committee and the College of Law Committee, of which she is a former chair. She was a member of the Willamette University College of Law Board of Visitors from 1978 to 2001.
Hughes graduated in 1971 from the University of Alaska with a bachelor’s in management before earning a JD from Willamette University College of Law in 1974. A partner in the law firm of Hughes, Thorsness, Gantz, Powell & Brundin until 1994, she served as the Anchorage Municipal Attorney from 1995 to 2000 and Of Counsel with the firm until May 2005, when she became Alaska State Director for the Office of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski JD’85, a position Hughes held until January 2008. From 2003 through 2012, she was Murkowski’s Chief Administrative Officer, co-chairing the write-in campaign committee for the senator’s historic election in 2010.
Since 2002, Hughes has served as a member of the University of Alaska’s Board of Regents and its chairperson for three years. She is a former president of the Alaska Bar Association Board of Governors and the Alaska Bar Foundation Board of Trustees; she is also a trustee of the University of Alaska Foundation.
Hughes is a director and former chair of the Alaska Humanities Forum and an ex-officio director and former chair of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation as well, and she serves on the Alaska community advisory board of Alaska Airlines.
“Ms. Hughes brings vast experience in higher education governance to AGB,” said Richard Legon, president of AGB. “Her service on boards of independent and public universities, combined with her work on university foundation boards, as well as boards of other non-profit organizations, will be an asset to all of us at AGB.”