October 3, 2013

UA Regent Mary K. Hughes appointed to national governing board

For Immediate Release
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013

The University of Alaska’s longest-serving member on its Board of Regents, Mary K. Hughes of Anchorage, has been appointed to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), the country’s premier authority on higher-education governance. She is the first Alaskan to serve on this national board. 

“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.” 

Pat Jacobson of Kodiak, chair of UA’s Board of Regents, said the appointment works in UA’s favor as well. “The regents have looked to the AGB for guidance in best practices for years. Having Regent Hughes serving directly on the organization’s board will only strengthen that relationship. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Former Gov. Tony Knowles appointed Hughes to UA’s Board of Regents in 2002; former Gov. Sarah Palin reappointed her in 2009. Hughes has served three terms as chair of the board. Her current term expires in 2017.

Hughes graduated from the University of Alaska with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in 1971 and earned her juris doctorate 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 was “of counsel” with the firm until May 2005, when she became Alaska State Director for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a position she held until January 2008.

From 2003 through 2012, Hughes was chief administrative officer for Murkowski’s senatorial campaign, co-chairing the write-in campaign committee for the Senator’s 2010 election. For seven years, she hosted a weekly radio show, Profile Alaska, on AM 700 KBYR. She is a past president of the Alaska Bar Association Board of Governors and the Alaska Bar Foundation Board of Trustees. She is also a trustee of the Boards of Trustees of the University of Alaska Foundation and Willamette University.

Additionally, she is a director and former chair of the Alaska Humanities Forum and an ex-officio director and former chair of the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. She serves on the community advisory boards of Alaska Airlines and Totem Ocean Trailer Express.


For a 200 dpi photo of Hughes, go to http://www.alaska.edu/opa/files/Mary_K_Hughes.jpg

For more information contact Kate Ripley, 907/450-8102 or klripley@alaska.edu or Julie Bourbon, 202/776-0821 or julieb@agb.org.