Mary V. Hughes
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Mary V. Hughes is president of Hughes & Company, a strategic communications and political consulting firm in Palo Alto, California.

She founded and directed The 2012 Project, a national, nonpartisan campaign of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, to increase the number of women in Congress and state legislatures. Happily, the 2012 elections produced record numbers of women in the United States Senate and House.

Hughes has advised candidates for President, Congress, and state and legislative office, contributing to a number of groundbreaking "firsts," including first woman in U.S. history to lead her party in the Congress, the first woman superintendent of schools in California, and the first open lesbian judge elected in the nation.

She is a contributor to the Governors Guidebook series Keys to the Governor's Office and Win the Right Way, a collection of essays on political strategy. Hughes, a former executive director of the California Democratic Party, has published op-eds and book reviews related to American politics in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, and other publications. She was the Emerge California "Woman of the Year" in 2007, and in 2012 was named one of "21 leaders for the 21st Century" by Women''s eNews.

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