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Michelle Hughes Named Executive Director of NC Child


RALEIGH—NC Child, North Carolina’s leading statewide child advocacy organization, announced today that Michelle Hughes has been named executive director of the organization.

“Michelle is one of North Carolina’s most experienced and respected child advocates,” stated Chris Kukla, chair of the NC Child board of directors. “For nearly 20 years, she has been a fixture in North Carolina’s child advocacy community, serving on multiple boards and task forces in addition to her leadership as an executive-level staff person in several organizations. She is the right person to lead NC Child and drive strong outcomes for children across the state.”

Since 2011, Ms. Hughes has served as the project director at Benchmarks for the Partnering for Excellence Initiative, a new effort to strengthen public-private partnerships in child welfare to enhance the quality of care and improve child functioning and well-being outcomes.

Prior to this role, Ms. Hughes was the executive vice president at Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, where she oversaw the agency’s broad range of family strengthening and abuse prevention programs. Ms. Hughes began her career in 1996 at the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute, the predecessor organization to NC Child.

In 2012, she received the Commissioner’s Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families for her “outstanding leadership and service in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.”The same year she also received the Tom Vitaglione Child Health Advocacy Award from the NC Pediatric Society.

“Michelle’s strong leadership has already had a positive impact across the state,” said Rhett Mabry, a vice president of The Duke Endowment in Charlotte. “Her new role will give her an opportunity to continue those much-needed efforts, making sure that North Carolina’s children are healthy and safe with opportunities for success in life.”

Prior to becoming NC Child’s executive director, Ms. Hughes served as co-chair of the NC Child Board of Directors.

“I’m thrilled to continue my work with NC Child,” said Hughes. “Having spent years working with the staff and board, I know just how dedicated, talented, and capable they are. I’m confident that we’ll be able to accomplish great things for North Carolina’s children.”


NC Child advances public policies that improve the lives of North Carolina’s children. We work statewide to ensure that all children are healthy, safe, well-educated, and economically secure by engaging communities, and informing and influencing decision-makers.

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