Debra HughesAssistant General Counsel
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Debra Hughes joined the BlueCross and BlueShield Association as Associate General Counsel in February 2015 and was recently promoted to Assistant General Counsel. Her responsibilities include managing a team of 6, supporting the Marketing and Licensure and Financial Services divisions, and trademark enforcement. Before joining the Association, Debra was Special Counsel at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP representing Fortune 100 companies on a wide array of intellectual property, Internet and transactional matters. Prior to Katten, she was Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property for the American Red Cross where she advised the organization regarding intellectual property, Internet strategy, entertainment, technology and licensing agreements. Debra previously worked as Assistant General Counsel for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in Arkansas where she directed and managed advertising and product review, copyright and trademark enforcement and created the policy and procedure for managing the company’s worldwide domain name portfolio. Debra received her JD, with honors, from Texas Southern University where she served as Editor-In-Chief of the Thurgood Marshall Law Review. She served on the Board of the International Trademark Association (INTA) from 2010-2012, served as the co-chair of INTA’s Trademark Administrators Conference in 2010 and currently serves as a Sub Committee Chair of the In-House Practitioners Committee. In 2009, Debra was appointed as a Councilor to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (“ICANN”) GNSO Council with the charge to help increase the voice and participation of non-profit organizations within internet governance. While, she is a frequent speaker on trademark, social media and internet issues, her true passion is providing mentorship to students and young professionals and is often asked by universities and collegiate organizations to provide training or motivational presentations designed to prepare students to excel with their professional ambitions. Debra is an advanced scuba diver and loves to swim. Her favorite pastime (other than watching boxing and football) is to enjoy the excitement and depths of the underwater world.