GRACE FLORES-HUGHES was born in Taft, Texas on June 11, 1946. She began her federal career as a GS-2 at Kelly AFB in 1966 and subsequently transferred to the Department of the Air Force and later to the Department of Health, Education & Welfare where she assumed higher levels of management responsibility. She worked in the Department of Health & Human Services as Acting Director of the Office of Hispanic Americans where she was responsible for the development and implementation of social policy and programs regarding Hispanic Americans and where she helped coin the term “Hispanic” for the federal government.
She was the first woman to serve as the Director/Assistant Attorney General level of the Community Relations Service (CRS) for the Department of Justice from 1988-92. Appointed by President Reagan and later kept on by President H.W. Bush, Flores-Hughes was responsible for developing policies and establishing priorities with respect to the resolution of racial and ethnic conflict in communities throughout the country, and the resettlement of Cuban/Hispanic refugees in the United States.
Before joining the Department of Justice, Mrs. Flores-Hughes served as Associate Administrator for Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development. As Associate Administrator, Mrs. Flores-Hughes initiated a number of innovative policy changes associated with reforming the 8(a) program.
In 2002 she was appointed by President G.W. Bush to serve as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes was a Visiting Professor in the Political Science Departments of the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Nebraska Wesleyan University during the mid 1980s.
She worked in various local and national political campaigns and was appointed to the RNC Chair’s National Hispanic Advisory Board in 2000.
She received the 1990 Outstanding Public Service Award presented by the American Society for Public Administration. She is included in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of Professional & Business Women. Mrs. Flores-Hughes was named in Hispanic Business Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes has served in various state appointed boards including the VA. Board of Professional and Occupational Regulation, the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services & the Diversity Advisory Committee for the Virginia National Guard. She was awarded Hispanic of the Year, from the VA. 11th Cong. District. Mrs. Flores-Hughes also served on the 1st Board of Visitors, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.
She is included in the Hispanic American Profiles, Ballantine Books and in Notable Hispanic American Women, Gale Research. She has written a number of magazine articles including, “Why the Term Hispanic?” Hispanic Magazine, ’96 , “The Use and Abuse of Diversity,” Hispanic Magazine, ’94 and “The Origin of the Term Hispanic,” Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, ’06.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes is a former Chair of the Executive Board, Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, and is a Principal, Council of Excellence in Government. She serves on the Board of HAP and on the Hispanic Foundation for the Arts Board founded by actor Jimmy Smits.
Mrs. Flores-Hughes holds a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and a B.A. in Child Psychology from the University of the District of Columbia.