Karen Hughes

Born:December 27, 1956 (age 63)
Career:Worldwide vice chair of Burson-Marsteller, 2008-present
Undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, 2005-2007
Senior communications strategist for Pres. George W. Bush's 2004 campaign
Counselor to the President, 2001-2002
Communications director for George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign
Director of communications, Texas Governor's office, 1995-1999
Executive director, Republican Party of Texas, 1992-1994
Education:B.A., B.F.A., Southern Methodist University

Karen Hughes served as the under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs in the U.S. Department of State from 2005 to 2007.

Hughes was born on December 27, 1956, in Paris, France, to American parents Patricia and Harold Parfitt, the last U.S. governor of the Panama Canal Zone. She is a Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate of Southern Methodist University, with a bachelor of arts in English and a bachelor of fine arts in journalism. She began her career as a television news reporter for KXAS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth, from 1977 to 1984.

Prior to serving as under-secretary, Hughes was a senior communications strategist in the 2004 campaign of President George W. Bush, a counselor to President Bush from 2001 to 2002 and communications director for Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. As counselor to the president, she was a strategic advisor on policy and communications and managed the White House offices of Communications, Media Affairs, Speechwriting and Press Secretary. Hughes served as director of communications in the Texas governor's office from 1995 to 1999, and directed communications during Governor Bush's successful gubernatorial campaigns in 1994 and 1998. She was executive director of the Republican Party of Texas from 1992 until 1994, and served as a consultant and spokesman for the party during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Hughes currently serves as global vice chair of the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, providing strategic communications, corporate positioning and messaging advice to corporate, nonprofit and political leaders. She served as a resident fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics for the spring 2013 semester. Hughes is the author of "Ten Minutes from Normal," a memoir of her experiences working with President Bush.