The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) selected Dr. John H. Hughes IV as Executive Vice President, Operations, effective June 1. Most recently serving as the Assistant City Manager for Lynchburg, Va., Hughes brings nearly two decades of experience in government operations, administration and service. He will serve as the chief business and operations officer and will report directly to IALR President Telly D. Tucker.
“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Hughes to the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research team,” said Tucker. “As we continue to position Southern Virginia as a destination where all can live and thrive, I am confident Dr. Hughes’ leadership background, operations experience and creative approach to community building will help us ensure the exceptional quality and operational excellence our communities and employees deserve.”
Having previous experience with workforce training, continuing education, human services and more, Hughes is fascinated by IALR’s mission to catalyze regional economic transformation.
“I am humbled and inspired to join a progressive and innovative organization focused on revolutionizing the economic landscape of Southern Virginia,” Hughes said. “With its state-of-the-art facilities, innovative programs and dynamic people, IALR positively influences Southern Virginia and beyond. I look forward to contributing to that mission of continued, tangible impact.”
Hughes will serve as the chief business and contractual liaison for IALR operational matters with IALR partners. One of his primary responsibilities will be leading the functions organized within IALR’s business and operations departments, including Communications, Technology, Facilities and the Institute Conference Center as well as Applied Research. Hughes will focus on aligning IALR’s administrative systems, policies, structure and procedures to the organization’s five-year strategic plan. He will also focus on developing leadership in a rapidly growing organization to ensure continuity and sustainability into the future.
While serving as the Assistant City Manager for Lynchburg, Hughes spearheaded a collaborative, impactful poverty-reduction effort through public-private partnerships, grants, workforce development and soft-skill development, continuing education and job placement programs – all focuses of IALR. Hughes also supervised several departments, including Human Services, the Lynchburg Public Library and Department of Parks and Recreation. Hughes previously worked as a Foster Care Social Worker and Senior Family Services Specialist before spending nearly a decade as the Children’s Services Act Coordinator for the City of Lynchburg.
A native of Lynchburg, Hughes supported the local community via several volunteer and appointed boards including the Greater Lynchburg Transit Company, Lynchburg Community Policing Advisory Committee, Martin Luther King Jr. Lynchburg Community Council, Hill City Youth Football & Cheerleading, Mary Bethune Academy, Southern Memorial Association (Old City Cemetery), Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, Community Criminal Justice Board, Action for Change Committee, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and the Central Virginia Continuum of Care.
Hughes has been active with professional and civic organizations including the Virginia Local Government Management Association, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and the International City/County Management Association. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
Hughes earned a Master of Business Administration in 2009 and obtained his doctorate in education from the University of Lynchburg (formerly known as Lynchburg College) in 2023. Hughes also holds two bachelor’s degrees – one in social science, the other in business administration – from the University of Lynchburg.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation through applied research, advanced learning, manufacturing advancement, conference center services and economic development efforts. IALR’s major footprint focuses within Southern Virginia, including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Martinsville and Danville. For more information, visit www.ialr.org.