Hughes retired from the Foreign Service in 1997 after serving at senior levels in the Department of State and Department of Defense. He subsequently was appointed Director General of the Multinational Force and Observers by Egypt and Israel in August 1998, serving as head of this peacekeeping operation until July 2004. Since then he has been a Scholar at the Middle East Institute, board member of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, and Senior Advisor to the Jerusalem Old City Initiative. This Canadian initiative developed one option in how to deal with the Old City in the context of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Hughes’ most senior positions in government service were United States Ambassador to Yemen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near East and South Asia, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs.
Hughes also held the positions of Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Israel, The Netherlands and Denmark, Director of the Department of State Secretariat Staff, and Officer-in-Charge of Spanish Affairs. Hughes also served as State Representative to the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon and overseas in Bonn and Frankfurt, Germany and Maracaibo, Venezuela. Prior to the Foreign Service, Hughes served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Germany and is a graduate of the infantry and intelligence schools. He is a 1961 graduate of the University of Nebraska and completed all coursework for a master’s degree prior to entering the Foreign Service.
Among Hughes’ awards are a Presidential Distinguished Service Award, Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, State Department Career Achievement Award, United States Information Agency Director’s Award for Superior Achievement and a University of Nebraska Alumni Achievement Award. He has also been a University of Nebraska Alumni Association “Master.” Ambassador Hughes is married to Patricia McOstrich Hughes, has two grown children and three grandchildren.