Mary Bear Hughes

Senior Consultant
[email protected] | 678-916-3038

Mary leads the executive search and transition practice, which also includes succession planning and leadership development, and she participates actively in the governance practice. Her 30 years’ experience span both consulting and operational roles in the private and nonprofit sectors, including leadership roles as an executive director and a board chair. Mary is a frequent speaker, writer, and workshop facilitator in her areas of expertise.

Prior to joining GCN in 2012, Mary was a principal of Bear, Corbett, Woodward & Moore for 12 years. She focused on executive search and transition, exclusively for nonprofit clients. Previously she was a partner with Heidrick & Struggles International, a global executive search firm where she specialized in CEO and other C-level searches in financial services companies. She joined the firm from the Atlanta Ballet, where she was finance director then executive director. Mary’s early career included accounting and analysis roles in the for-profit sector.

Clients seek Mary’s assistance in times of change. All work is focused on identifying or developing leadership that possesses the capabilities required to bring success to clients’ organizations. She leverages proven human capital models and tailors practices to help committees, teams and individuals achieve needed results and long-term outcomes.

Mary received a B.S. in International Business from Georgetown University and speaks conversational French. She is a passionate golfer, despite her scores, and enjoys travel with her husband, especially to see their grandchildren.


“I am so pleased with the potential of the candidate Mary helped us select, and with her process.” 

— H. Carol Saul, Board Chair, Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GCAPP)

“Mary is a real pro with deep content knowledge and rich, relevant experience that allows her to guide clients with credibility.” 

— Ann Cramer, Former Director Americas Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM

"GCN has been absolutely fantastic. The way Mary has come in and dissected our organization has been so seamless, it is like she has been part of our board. GCN exceeded even our highest expectations."

— Kevin Mobley, Board President, Computer Measurement Group (CMG)


Leadership development
Executive search & transition
Board governance & development 
Succession planning



TurningPoint Breast Cancer
   Rehabilitation Center
Region IV Head Start Association
Voices for Georgia’s Children
Together Georgia
Georgia Appleseed
Computer Measurement Group
Elachee Nature Science Center
Scottdale Child Development
   and Family Resource Center
The Hambidge Center for Creative
   Arts and Sciences
Piedmont Park Conservancy
University of Georgia Real
   Estate Foundation
Turtle Survival Alliance
Cathedral Towers
Georgia Campaign for Adolescent
   Power and Potential (GCAPP)


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