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Senior Vice President, Council of American Ambassadors; former Ambassador to Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean

G. Philip Hughes

Professional Experience

Philip Hughes served as the United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean from November 1990 until July 1993. Prior to this ambassadorial appointment, he served as Executive Secretary of the National Security Council during 1989 and 1990.

His previous Executive Branch public service included appointments as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement (1988-1989), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs (1986-1988), Director for Latin American Affairs on the National Security Council staff (1985-1986), Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs (1981-1985), and Assistant Director for Intelligence Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (1979-1981).

Ambassador Hughes was a Research Fellow in Defense Studies at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. in 1978-1979 and began his career as an Assistant Analyst in the National Security and International Affairs Division of the Congressional Budget Office (1975-1977). Ambassador Hughes retired as a Senior Director of the White House Writers Group in Washington, DC in 2020.

Among other roles, he is Chairman Emeritus and an ex officio Board member of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, Senior Vice President and Secretary of the Council of American Ambassadors, and Vice President of the Foreign Policy Discussion Group.  From 2015-2020, Ambassador Hughes served as Program Chair and a Board member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Hughes was awarded the Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1985; the George Washington Patriot Award of the Sons of the Revolution of the State of New York in 2009; and the Puentes de las Americas Award of the Centro de Estudios Americanos of Buenos Aires in 2018. He is married to Victoria A. Knipper Hughes.



Amb. Hughes holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Dayton (1972), an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (1974 and 1975), and an M.P.A. degree from the JFK School of Government, Harvard University (1978). He has attended courses at the London School of Economics (1973) and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna (1974).