Paul Hughes is the senior advisor for international security and peacebuilding and interim operations chief for Middle East and Africa at USIP. Hughes has previously served as USIP’s chief of staff and director of Nonproliferation and Arms Control Program. He also served as the executive director of the Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, executive director of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, and as the director of Iraq programs in the Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations.
Prior to joining USIP, he served as an active duty Army colonel and as the Army's senior military fellow to the Institute for National Security Studies of the National Defense University. From January to August 2003, Hughes served as a senior staff officer for the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and later with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. During that time he developed several policy initiatives, such as the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of the Iraqi military. As the director of national security policy on the Army staff from 2000-2002, he developed and provided policy guidance for the Army in numerous areas, such as arms control, weapons of mass destruction, missile defense, emerging nontraditional security issues, and crisis prediction. From 1996 to 2000, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) as deputy director of the Office for Humanitarian Assistance and Anti-Personnel Landmine Policy, where he led the OSD participation in crafting U.S. landmine policy and the DOD response to Hurricane Mitch, the Turkish earthquakes, and the Mozambique floods.
Hughes holds two master's degrees of military arts and sciences and a bachelor's degree in sociology from Colorado State University. His awards include two Defense Superior Service Medals, three Bronze Star Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, four Army Commendation Medals, and several campaign and service ribbons.