Mary V. Hughes
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Mary V. Hughes is the president of Hughes & Company, a political strategy and communications firm. She is the architect of close the gap CA, a four-year (20132016) campaign to recruit talented, progressive women to run for the California legislature, and of The 2012 Project, a national, nonpartisan campaign to increase the number of women in Congress and state legislatures.

Hughes has advised candidates for president, Congress, and state and legislative office. Her work has contributed to several historic "firsts" for women: the first woman to lead her party in Congress, the first woman superintendent of California schools, and the first out-lesbian judge elected in the nation. Her writing on American politics has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post. In 2013, Hughes was named "woman of the year" by California Women Lead, and in 2012, Women's e-News named her one of "21 leaders for the 21st Century."

Hughes is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Mt. Holyoke College. She lives with her husband in Palo Alto, California.