Michelle Hughes

Michelle Hughes is a human rights lawyer and educator whose work focuses on rule of law, security, and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states, and states in transition. She is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of VALRAC Innovation, LLC, a company dedicated to preparing the next generation to restore and strengthen the rule of law at home and abroad; a Fellow with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies; and a Senior Fellow with the National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College. Ms. Hughes is also a former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer and combat veteran who was later appointed as a Senior Executive in the U.S. Department of Defense where she was the only designated “Highly Qualified Expert” for Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform. She has field experience in 24 foreign countries, to include 14 active conflicts and a succession of deployments to Afghanistan where her role was to advise Senior Military Commanders on how to connect security force development to governance and justice. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, Regent University School of Law, and the London School of Economics. Her most recent publication is “Impunity: Countering Illicit Power in War and Transition,” and she is the producer, scriptwriter, and editor of the National Defense University educational web- and podcast series: “Impunity: Beyond the Book.”