Hughes has many years of experience creating and managing projects focused on natural resource governance, gender equality, and indigenous peoples’ rights at the local, national, and international levels. For example, as an attorney for Earthjustice, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the North Slope Borough, she has assessed the compliance of oil, gas and mining projects with local, national, and international laws and policies. These standards included indigenous rights, governance, transparency, due diligence, species and habitat protection, and pollution limits. Since moving to Geneva, she has been engaged in various processes related to business, sustainable development, and human rights. She is one of the coordinators of the Feminists for a Binding Treaty.