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Alumni Profile: Michelle Hughes (’96)

By July 1, 2016December 16th, 2019Alumni Profiles
Many of Regent Law’s 2,500+ alumni have worked or are presently working to bring justice to the oppressed and promote the rule of law around the world. We hope you enjoy reading the following alumni profiles, which represent just a small portion of our many alumni literally changing the world.

Michelle A. Hughes
Class of 1996

Michelle Hughes 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. She is also Chief of Global Strategy for, Inc., Senior Development Advisor to Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s L.L.M. program in Rule of Law for Development, a Fellow with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, and a Senior Fellow with the National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College.

Ms. Hughes was formerly 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 (SSR). Her work focuses on building capacity for multi-national, interagency, civil-military and public-private cooperation to build and strengthen the rule of law, resolve violent conflict, and enable sustainable peace. She has field experience in 12 conflict countries across four continents, to include 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. From December 2010 to December 2011, she was the Senior Rule of Law Advisor to the NATO Police Training Mission in Afghanistan. She is the principal author of the Joint Force Commander’s Handbook on Military Support to Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform.

In 1996, Ms. Hughes graduated at the top of her class from Regent University School of Law. While in law school, she was an editor of the Law Review, and received numerous academic honors and awards. She has practiced complex civil litigation, prosecution, and criminal defense in 14 State and Federal jurisdictions. She has special expertise in real property law, alternative dispute resolution, and government and military structures, and has served on drafting committees for uniform commercial codes. Her clients have included multinational corporations in the extractive, manufacturing and maritime industries, Fortune 500 Companies, municipalities, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.