Robert Hughes was born in Burnaby, BC. He obtained a BSA (Horticulture) in 1950 and an MSA in 1952. Following graduation he joined the Canada Department of Agriculture as a Junior Administrative Officer and served in finance, personnel and housekeeping administration and as Executive Assistant to the Minister, until 1963. He worked with the Glassco Commission on improving federal personnel management and in the Privy Council Office on securing related ministerial decisions.
In 1964 he joined the Treasury Board, implementing Glassco recommendations and worked with Chief Manpower Utilization dealing with some major aspects of installing collective bargaining. During that period up to 1968 he was on loan to the Privy Council Office/PMO to develop the first bilingualism policy. Following that, he joined the Public Service Commission-responsible for development of all centrally offered training, including new French second-language, culture shock and organization renewal programs. He also took a first secondment to the task force on dealing with internal civil strife.
In 1975 Mr Hughes joined Veterans Affairs as Director and Director General of Personnel Management. During this stage of his career he worked on Management Practices, Organization Renewal and Corporate Affairs and on the minister-led Pension Process Task Force. Further secondments related to national security were also undertaken. He retired from the Federal Civil Service in 1992. In recognition of his accomplishments and achievements Mr Hughes was awarded the Confederation Medal, 1967; the Queen’s Anniversary Medal, 1971; and the Confederation Anniversary Medal 1992.
Mr Hughes and wife Margaret Lytle reside in Ottawa, Ontario. They have three children and two grandchildren.