Senior Director of Strategy and Partnership Development

Michelle Hughes

Michelle has served in a number of executive and leadership positions in North Carolina including Executive Director of NC Child, Project Director of the Partnering for Excellence Initiative at Benchmarks, and Executive Vice-President of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina. In these roles, she has been fortunate to work with strategic, committed, and visionary individuals who have helped create meaningful change in the lives of so many North Carolinians. From the founding of SaySo (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out), a statewide network of youth in foster care who advocate for changes in the child welfare system to creating the Partnering for Excellence Initiative, a statewide effort to ensure that children in the child welfare system are receiving evidence-based mental health services, Michelle has been a key leader in developing innovative strategies to improve outcomes for children, youth and families.

Michelle’s leadership and advocacy for children have been recognized nationally and in North Carolina. Michelle is the 2022 Recipient of the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award; the 2022 recipient of the National Partnership for America’s Children Florette Angel Child Advocacy Award; the 2012 recipient of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner’s Award and the 2012 North Carolina Pediatric Society, Tom Vitaglione Child Health Advocacy Award.

A graduate of Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland, Michelle holds Master’s degrees in English and Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

headshot of Michelle Hughes