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Biography: Meghan Hughes

With 30 years of experience in higher education and the nonprofit sector, Dr. Meghan Hughes became the fifth president of the Community College of Rhode Island on Feb. 1, 2016. CCRI is the largest community college in New England with four main campuses. The college serves more than 45,000 Rhode Islanders annually and boasts more than 80,000 alumni.

As president, Hughes leads ongoing transformation at the community college, with a focus on student success. She is committed to providing Rhode Islanders with an outstanding college education that leads to strong learning outcomes, successful degree attainment and robust labor market outcomes. Hughes has placed closing equity performance gaps at the center of her work. Under her leadership, the college achieved the highest graduation rates in more than 20 years, outpacing national two-and three-year graduation rates, and was named the 2019 two-year college of the year by Education Dive magazine.

Hughes is an Aspen Institute Fellow for Community College Excellence. She was presented with the “Trailblazer in Education” award in 2018 at the Realizing Inspiration & Sustaining Excellence Women’s Leadership Conference. Hughes was recognized by the Latino Public Radio Foundation with its Foundation Builder Award in 2016 and by the Rhode Island Foundation with its Community Leader award in 2015. In 2014, U.S. Rep. David Cicilline named Hughes an Outstanding Woman of the Year.

In 2021, Hughes was elected as the Chair of the Board of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Foundation and is a member of Congressman Cicilline’s Women’s Advisory Council and the Rhode Island Commodores.

Hughes graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and holds a doctorate from New York University.