Kandi Hughes, Chair for Central Arkansas Water Board of Commissioners, is an attorney at Southwest Power Pool in their corporate legal department; Commissioner Hughes is both diligent and committed to the profession. SPP oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the central United States on behalf of a diverse group of utilities and transmission companies in 14 states. Commissioner Hughes currently manages SPP’s vendor contract matters, provides legal support to SPP’s Human Resources department as well as to SPP’s Regional State Committee comprised of regulators from states found within SPP’s footprint. She joined SPP in 2016 after serving as the Associate General Counsel at the University of Central Arkansas and as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Little Rock. With almost 10 years of legal practice, Commissioner Hughes is a former intern with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in the office of Congressman Elijah Cummings in Washington, D.C. A Little Rock, Arkansas native, Commissioner Hughes received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy Studies with a concentration in Health Policy from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She received her Juris Doctor from the UA Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law and her Master of Business Administration at the University of Central Arkansas. Commissioner Hughes is currently pursuing an LLM in Energy and Natural Resources from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Commissioner Hughes’ professional affiliations include membership in the Arkansas Bar Association where she is a former member of the Governance Committee, the Arkansas Bar Commission on Diversity and a member of the Class of 2015 Leadership Academy. Commissioner Hughes is also a member of industry organizations including the American Bar Association, the American Water Works Association, the National Black MBA Association, the Pulaski County Bar Association, the William R. Overton Inn of Court, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, and Arkansas Women in Power.
Commissioner Hughes’ civic affiliations include membership on the Duke University Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee, the Junior League of Little Rock, where she received the New Member of the Year Award in 2015, a parent volunteer with the Girls Scouts of America, legal counsel for the PEARLS Foundation of Central Arkansas, and a member of the Greater Little Rock Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Commissioner Hughes has been an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated for 17+ years and is the current president of the Chi Eta Omega alumni chapter.
Commissioner Hughes’ public service includes serving as secretary of the Tendaji Community Development Corporation Board of Directors and board member on the Leadership Foundation for Women as well as a member of the Oscar Washington, Jr. Scholarship Fund. Commissioner Hughes is a graduate of the Little Rock Regional Chamber’s Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXXI and a member of Saint Mark Baptist Church, where she is a member of the Personnel Committee and volunteers within their pro bono legal group. Commissioner Hughes is former member of both the Little Rock School District Community Advisory Board and the Arkansas Foodbank.
Commissioner Hughes was recognized in Arkansas Business’ publications, Arkansas 200 (2017) and Arkansas 250 (2018), honoring a group of Arkansans who influence the way we live, learn, and do business in the state of Arkansas. She is the 2018 recipient of the Irma Hunter Brown Women’s Leadership Award given by the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus. Commissioner Hughes was also recognized by Arkansas Business as a 2019 40 Under 40 honoree and by Little Rock Soirée as a 2019 Woman to Watch honoree.
No matter all of her acknowledgments and achievements, Commissioner Hughes’ greatest blessing is being the proud mom of two beautiful children, Kairi and DJ!
Commissioner Hughes resides in Little Rock and is a Little Rock representative on the CAW Board.