Richard Hughes leverages his background as a health lawyer and industry executive to help health care and life sciences entities navigate a broad range of legal, regulatory, policy, and business strategy issues.

Richard provides strategic business counsel to clients, assembles multidisciplinary teams, and builds market strategies for product development and growth. He also provides counsel, with a particular emphasis on vaccines, prevention, and early intervention, to biopharmaceutical and device companies and a variety of health care clients and offers clients guidance on coverage, payment, legal, regulatory, and policy issues.

Richard previously served as Managing Director at a leading Washington health care advisory firm and Vice President at a major vaccine manufacturer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, as an attorney at the law firm Epstein Becker Green, Richard advised a national government on the implementation of a single-payor health insurance system and guided clients through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

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Earlier in his career, Richard served in several health policy leadership roles. He was a gubernatorial appointee to the Arkansas State Board of Health, where he deliberated regulatory policy, presided over appeals before the state health department, and advocated for vaccine access. Richard has also held roles at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and with another leading biopharmaceutical company.

Richard has led many successful efforts to expand access to vaccines and preventive services. His thought leadership and problem-solving strategies have broken barriers to access to vaccines and PrEP for HIV, and his advice on vaccine policy is sought after by leading manufacturers, members of Congress, federal agencies, and the broader advocacy community.

Richard is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School and previously a Professorial Lecturer in Health Policy & Management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. During law school, Richard served as a legal research assistant to Professor Sara Rosenbaum, renowned health law scholar and Founding Chair of the Department of Health Policy at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Richard has published in Health Affairs and in law and medical journals, and he is a regular contributor to Health Affairs Forefront.

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Focus Areas


  • Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health
  • Health Affairs, Top 10 Most-Read Health Affairs Blog Posts of 2019 (No. 9) (2019)
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, Center Stage Alumni (2021)



  • The George Washington University Law School (J.D.)
    • Health Law
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (M.P.H.)
  • Arkansas State University (B.S.)

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Health Law Section
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • American Journal of Public Health, Peer-Reviewer
  • American Public Health Association
  • American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics
  • Arkansas State Board of Health (Gubernatorial Appointment) (2006 to 2009)
  • National Vaccine Law Conference, Steering Committee





Public Policy Strategy
  • Develops federal and state policy strategies for vaccine and other biopharmaceutical manufacturers, and advises clients on strategies for engaging state and federal agencies, including FDA, CDC, CMS, and BARDA.
Business Advisor
  • Counsels investors and startups on market trends and developments in health care, including identifying total addressable markets. Richard also facilitates multidisciplinary expert input and advisory boards for clients.
Product Launch Advice
  • Advises multiple manufacturers on launch strategy for new vaccines and other products.
  • Advises novel, non-vaccine developers on strategies for obtaining a “vaccine-like” recommendation, coverage, and reimbursement pathway.
Thought Leadership
  • Influences public policy development as a thought leader in the field of preventive health care and public health. Richard advised or engaged the White House, HHS, CDC, HHS, and Congressional offices on the development of vaccine policy.
Research and Analysis
  • Conducted many 50-state analyses of laws, regulations, and Medicaid coverage policies, as well as payor coverage analyses. Richard led studies using survey methods and claims-based analyses of vaccine-preventable disease burden and uptake in Medicare and other markets.
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