Robert L. Hughes, director of K-12 Education in the United States Program, oversees the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s work to ensure all students are prepared for success in college and career.
Before joining the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hughes was president of New Visions for Public Schools, a New York City school network of 70 district schools serving approximately 45,000 students. During his tenure, New Visions created 99 districts and 7 charter public schools, provided mentoring services to hundreds of new principals, developed school-based certification programs for teachers and principals, secondary curricula now accessed by thousands of teachers and data management tools to streamline school operations and track student progress toward graduation and college. Prior to New Visions, he has also been involved in individual and class action litigation in special education and state school finance. He started his career providing legal representation to homeless parents and students in the New York City public school system and working extensively with community organizers around education issues.
He serves on the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Board of Directors. Prior board affiliations include Advocates for Children of New York, the Education Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Fund For Teachers and Projects in Education, the nonprofit publisher of Education Week.