Grace Flores-Hughes was born in Taft, Texas on June 11, 1946. She began her federal career as a GS-2 at Kelly AFB in 1966 and subsequently transferred to the Department of the Air Force and later to the Department of Health, Education & Welfare where she assumed higher levels of management responsibility. She worked in the Department of Health & Human Services as Acting Director of the Office of Hispanic Americans where she was responsible for the development and implementation of social policy and programs regarding Hispanic Americans and where she helped coin the term “Hispanic” for the federal government.
She was the first woman to serve as the Director/Assistant Attorney General level of the Community Relations Service (CRS) for the Department of Justice from 1988-92. Appointed by President Reagan and later kept on by President H.W. Bush, Flores-Hughes was responsible for developing policies and establishing priorities with respect to the resolution of racial and ethnic conflict in communities throughout the country, and the resettlement of Cuban/Hispanic refugees in the United States.