*On October 3, 2013, Karen Hughes presented the lecture “The CEOs of Leadership: Clarity, Example, and Optimism.”
Karen Hughes currently serves as the global vice chair for the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. She is a trusted counselor to corporate, nonprofit and political leaders providing strategic communications, corporate positioning and messaging advice.
Since joining Burson-Marsteller in 2008, Hughes has brought to the business world her unique expertise honed over more than 30 years of public policy, communications and political experience, from helping lead winning presidential campaigns to serving at the highest levels of government.
Previously, Hughes served as under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, where she led the U.S. State Department’s effort to communicate America’s values abroad. Hughes also served as counselor to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002. In this role, she acted as strategic advisor to the president on policy and communications and managed the White House offices of Communications, Media Affairs, Speechwriting and Press Secretary. She is a past executive director of the Republican Party of Texas and a former television news reporter for the NBC affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth.
Hughes is a Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate of Southern Methodist University. She is the author of “Ten Minutes from Normal,” a memoir of her experiences working with President Bush. Hughes was selected to serve as a resident fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics for the spring 2013 semester.