Robert Hughes was appointed the director of K-12 Programs at the Gates Foundation in June 2016, after having served as president of New Visions for Public Schools since September 2000. At the Gates Foundation, Hughes leads K-12 strategy, helping to scale the Foundation’s most impactful education solutions to reach more students. Under Hughes’s leadership, New Visions for Public Schools created 99 district and six charter public schools in New York City, provided mentoring services to hundreds of new principals, developed school-based certification programs for teachers and principals, and created an inquiry process now in use in 1,500 New York City public schools. Trained originally as an attorney, Hughes was co-counsel for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity in its landmark case challenging the constitutionality of the New York State's educational finance system. His leadership in that case helped secure $5 billion in operating funds and $13.5 billion for capital construction for the New York City public school system.