As the U.S. Ambassador to Panama from 1995–98, William J. Hughes made his top priority the smooth turnover of the canal to the Panamanian government. A Democratic congressman for 20 years, he earned bipartisan respect. His political career began in Cape May County as assistant prosecutor during the 1960s. Elected to Congress in 1974, he chaired subcommittees on crime, intellectual property, retirement income, and employment, and worked to tighten gun control and limit ocean dumping. Many regard the anticrime measures he wrote as the most significant criminal justice reforms in 25 years. His time with the Drug Enforcement Administration through Central and South America formed the basis for much of the United States’ antidrug legislation. His Rutgers accolades include a Presidential Citation in 1991 for his “consistent interest in the public welfare.” The Atlantic City International Airport named the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center in his honor. He is now of counsel in Riker Danzig’s Trenton law office.