Advancing affordable care, Alumni Profile: Dora Hughes, BS ’92, MD, MPH

In 2005, Dora Hughes, BS ’92, MD, MPH, was working as deputy director of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and ­Pensions in the U.S. Senate for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy when she met the then-junior senator from Illinois named Barack Obama.

Dora Hughes, BS ’92, MD, MPH
“I was intrigued,” Hughes says. “He’s very charismatic, and he’s a visionary.” She interviewed with him and was invited to become his health policy adviser.

“I was able to help draft the first genomics bill,” she says. “He was the first [in the Congress] to focus on personalized medicine. He was the first to focus on avian flu. Sen. Obama was generally always on the cutting edge.”

Though she’d expected to work with him only a year to help establish his health policy platform — Hughes wanted to get back to clinical medicine — she stayed on for two. In 2007, when Obama announced his run for president, Hughes helped shape his national health platform and watched him win the White House.

“I’ve had the most extraordinary good fortune of being in the right place at the right time and having the right skill set and training,” Hughes says.

Read more in Washington Magazine.