She currently serves as chief operating officer for the Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association. She had been the association's director of development (2010), as well as its director of strategic initiatives (2011). Before joining the Florida association, she was director of development for Community Christian School.
She has also held positions at Northwestern College and at the Minnesota Electrical Association.
She has a B.S. in Organizational Development from Northwestern College and has studied Philanthropy and Development at St. Mary's University.
ASCLA President Jeannette Smithee said, "Along with the boards and members of ASCLA and RUSA, I anticipate a cooperative and productive relationship with our new executive director, Jessica Hughes. She brings a dynamic personality plus skills and experience. I anticipate learning from her and having her learn more about our unique associations."
RUSA President Chris LeBeau said, "I am delighted to have Jessica Hughes join ASCLA and RUSA. She brings us experience in planning, advocacy, board engagement, budgeting, association education and development. I look forward to the energy and enthusiasm she will inject into our organization."
The ALA expressed sincere appreciation for a smooth and productive search to: Jeannette Smithee, ASCLA president; Michael Golrick, ASCLA immediate past president; Chris LeBeau, RUSA president; Alesia McManus, RUSA immediate past president; Christina Shutt, immediate past-chairperson, RUSA History Section; Lorelle Swader, director, ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment and the ALA-Allied Professional Association; Kerry Ward, executive director, ALA/Library Leadership and Management Association; Dan Hoppe, associate executive director, ALA Human Resources; and Mary Ghikas, ALA interim executive director.