Training and Development Specialist – Mary Hughes worked as a Training Specialist at FEMA for seven years and served as the Program Manager for the National Emergency Management Executive Academy. The Executive Academy focuses on strategic leadership, critical thinking, innovation, and collaboration across boundaries. It targets a whole community audience that includes directors or advisors leading state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; leaders from private sector and non-profit organizations; and federal administrators. During her tenure at the National Emergency Training Center, she also served as the Course Manager for the Federal Coordinating Officer Cadre, the Planning Cadre, and State Coordinating Officers. For two decades prior to joining the government, Mary worked as an Instructional Design and Training Consultant on both e-learning and instructor-led training for high tech companies, government, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as Xerox Corporation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Texas, and the American Red Cross. She has also taught at the University of Maryland and Institute of North American Studies in Barcelona, Spain. Mary is passionate about conservation and natural history. She earned a Certificate of Accomplishment in Natural History Field Studies from US Department of Agriculture Graduate School, has been a beekeeper, and has participated in Earthwatch expeditions in Brazil and Costa Rica that conducted research on pollinators. Mary has a Masters in Teaching (MAT) from Georgetown University.