Donna Rice Hughes has more than twenty five years of progressive leadership expertise as a Social Entrepreneur, Internet Safety Expert, Author, Speaker, Educator, Media Commentator, Communications and Marketing Strategist, Child Advocate, Filmmaker/Producer, and Thought Leader. She serves as CEO and President of Enough Is Enough® (EIE), a national, non-partisan, secular, non-profit organization that pioneered and has led the fight since 1994 to make the Internet safer for children and families. She was a key figure in birthing the Internet safety movement nationally in 1995, including a historic leadership event hosted by EIE on Capitol Hill, with Congressional leaders, national media and community leaders. Subsequently, Ms. Hughes immediately became the national voice and face for the prevention of Internet- initiated sexual exploitation of children.
During an era in which imminent dangers emerging from the Internet were widely unknown, she had the foresight to develop preventative efforts to keep children safe online; all of those tenets are still in place today. She initiated a 3-pronged strategy adopted by industry and governments worldwide that included the public, the technology industry and legal community in sharing responsibility to protect children online from pornography, child pornography and sexual predators.
It was during that same era that Ms. Hughes advocated for key bi-partisan legislation to protect children from Internet pornography, sexual predators and other dangers including the Communications Decency Act, Child Online Protection Act, Children’s Internet Protection Act, and the Child Pornography Prevention Act. Concurrently, she led the development of the ISP Code of Ethical Conduct Proposal that called on Internet service providers to adopt a voluntary default filtering standard (introduced at the Children’s Online Summit in 1997, where she served on the Executive Committee). In 2013, Great Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, successfully initiated a similar model which has resulted in a safer Internet experience for children and families in the U.K.
Ms. Hughes is regularly sought out by the media, educators, Congress, policy makers, law enforcement officials, and industry leaders for solutions to combat online pornography, child pornography, sexual predation, commercial child sexual exploitation, sex trafficking and cyberbullying. She continues to develop national communications, marketing, public relations, media, and social media strategies to support EIE’s programs and initiatives.
In 2007, under her leadership and vision, EIE, in partnership with Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice, developed The Internet Safety 101 Program. It was the first comprehensive curriculum designed to educate, equip, and empower parents, educators and caregivers to protect youth from pornography, sexual predators and cyberbullies, and to keep them safe on social networking sites, gaming and mobile devices. The Program was lauded by the PTA as “a tailor-made response to the Internet child safety crisis facing our nation.”
Ms. Hughes served as the Executive Producer and Host of the Internet Safety 101® DVD series (winner of 3 Telly Awards). She negotiated with Verizon Foundation and PBS to reformat the DVD series into a three-part television series, which ran on PBS stations, nationally, and Comcast stations, regionally. The program won an Emmy award, and Ms. Hughes was nominated for an Emmy as the show’s host.
For more than two decades, she has worked to get law enforcement and federal and state governments to aggressively enforce existing federal laws designed to protect kids from pornography, child pornography, sexual predators and traffickers, through vehicles that include the national media, social media, petition campaigns, Congressional testimony, and the Children’s Internet Safety Presidential Pledge.
Ms. Hughes has worked in partnership with multiple Internet industry giants to improve upon corporate best practices, policies and safety technology. She was instrumental in Google’s decision to change their corporate policies in the spring of 2014 to proactively eliminate all pornography and links to pornography on Google Ads and Apps. Additionally, she persuaded Microsoft to set Bing’s search engine to automatically filter illegal and objectionable content by turning on the safe search feature as the default. EIE’s Internet safety resources are available on industry websites such as Microsoft, Verizon, and Google.
Her pioneering efforts have continued with the launch of multiple campaigns and initiatives in recent years designed to preserve and defend child dignity in the digital world, including:
The National Safe WiFi Campaign calling on Corporate America to filter pornography and child pornography on public WiFi, which resulted in McDonald’s filtering WiFi in the majority of their14,000 stores, nationwide; Subway filtering in its company-owned stores, and Starbuck’s announcing that it would implement national WiFi filtering and establish an associated global policy.
The Children’s Internet Safety Presidential Pledge signed by candidate Donald J. Trump and agreed to by candidate Hillary Clinton to enforce the existing federal obscenity, child pornography, sexual predation, and child trafficking laws and advance public policies to prevent the sexual exploitation of children online. This is the first time in history a U.S. President has pledged to make the safety of children in the digital world a top priority.
Project Wilberforce Campaigns, modeled after English social reformer William Wilberforce who devoted his life to abolishing social evils and promoting social good, include initiatives designed to end the Internet-enabled exploitation of children, foster a kinder and safer Internet, and to restore a culture of dignity and respect.
Public Health Pornography Pandemic Campaign, in partnership with coalition partners, ignited a national movement to shed light on the social costs and corroding influence of Internet pornography as a public health pandemic. As a result, more than 10 states have since passed or proposed resolutions declaring Internet pornography a public health crisis.
The High Road Campaign, which includes the innovative Random Posts of Kindness and Sweet Tweets programs, is designed to confront the global epidemic of hate and cyberbullying by promoting civility, common decency and kindness. Throughout this effort, Ms. Hughes calls on citizens to “stand together and focus on what unites us and not on what divides us…to build the bridges of reconciliation…take the High Road…and join together to protect children online.” The campaign’s efforts included Ms. Hughes’ C-SPAN hour-long interview and her op-ed on CNN.com in support of Melania Trump’s cyberbullying platform, which had one million readers and 850 comments in the first 24 hours.
Recovering Hearts Program for churches and faith-based communities that incorporates a holistic strategy promoting healthy sexuality and genuine intimacy and to prevent sexual exploitation of children, women and men by incorporating prevention education, healing/recovery programs and victims’ assistance support.
Most recently, Ms. Hughes was chosen as one of 150 leaders to participate in the invitation-only World Congress on “Child Dignity in the Digital World” in Rome, which concluded with a Papal audience and the presentation of “The Declaration of Rome” to Pope Francis. She was successful in getting key initiatives included in the World Congress’s Global Strategic Plan to protect children in today’s digital era, and currently serves as a Committee Chairperson of the Congress’s global strategic efforts.
MEDIA INTERVIEWS/PUBLISHING/PUBLIC SPEAKING
Donna Rice Hughes’ earned media interviews in both the secular and Faith-based media have reached tens of millions of households annually since 1995. (See Donna Rice Hughes’ Press Kit and Enough Is Enough’s Media Center). Positioned as a subject matter expert on issues surrounding the protecting children online, she has been the ‘go to’ expert for national media outlets, having given more than 3,500 media interviews. She has been featured or quoted in most major news outlets for her pioneering work including:
Secular: The Today Show, Good Morning America, FOX News shows, CNN, Headline News, CBS News, ABC News, The O’Reilly Factor, Guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show (“Oprah”), Dateline, MSNBC, Associated Press, Reuters, C-SPAN, BBC, The Washingtonian, New York Post, The Washington Post, USA Today, McCalls, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, People Magazine, Time Magazine, PBS, World Net Daily, Wired Magazine and Parenting Magazine; LA Times, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, New York Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Atlanta Constitution, Chicago Tribute, Boston Globe, Politico, Daily Beast, and in local and national radio stations, podcasts, webinars and other Internet-based programming.
Donna has been interviewed by Barbara Walters five times, including 20/20, The View and Barbara Walters Presents.
Faith-Based/Christian: Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, TBN Praise the Lord, CBN News, 700 Club, ETWN Catholic Television, Christian Post, Baptist Press, and Christian radio stations nationwide.
Featured Profiles: People Magazine, McCalls, Washington Times, San Francisco
Chronicle, USA Today, World Magazine, Today’s Christian Woman, Star Telegram, Oprah, 20/20, Barbara Walters Presents, LA Times, Washingtonian, Washington Post, Life Magazine, Salon Magazine.
Books and Book chapters chronicling portions of Donna’s story: Ordinary
Miracles, Inside People/The Stories Behind the Stories, Don’t Shoot the Messenger, AOL.COM: The History of AOL, All The Truth Is Out, What It Takes, Lamp Unto My Feet.
Donna has delivered more than 400 speeches and/or training seminars since 1994. She has spoken extensively on the subject of Internet dangers, safety, and cybersecurity in educational, professional forums to parents, educators, media, churches, technology companies, policy makers, and law enforcement agencies in communities across the country, including:
Keynotes at The White House, University of Houston Law School, MIT, Johns Hopkins University, the Media Institute, The Freedom Forum, Newseum, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Department of State, Federal Food and Drug Administration, Willow Creek Church, Second Baptist Church of Houston, McLean Bible Church, The National Salvation Army, PTA National Conference, National Set Free Summit, The Call at the Rose Bowl, The National Children’s Internet Summit, the Department of Justice’s Federal Prosecutors’ Obscenity Symposium, Numerous Congressional Briefings and Panels. Donna has served as a featured speaker at numerous press conferences including dozens at the U.S. Supreme Court. Donna has testified numerous times before the United States Congress and Senate.
She continues to share her faith journey at churches and Christian conferences across America including Willow Creek Church, Second Baptist Church of Houston. McLean Bible Church, First Baptist Church, Orlando and The Call at the Rose Bowl. Donna is represented by the Premier Speaker’s Bureau.
Published commentaries and articles in major news publications including USA Today, The LA Times, The Washington Times, Foxnews.com, McCalls Magazine, The Washington Examiner, Politico, The Miami Herald, CNN.com, Lifezette.com, The Christian Post, The Hill, The Daily Caller, and many others. She Authored “Kids Online,
Protecting Your Children In Cyberspace” (Baker Books, 1998, English, Spanish, Korean); Co-Authored the “Internet Safety 101” 250 page Workbook/Resource Guide; Authored “The Internet Pornography Pandemic: The Largest Unregulated Social Experiment in Human History,” “The Harmful Impact on Youth and a Pathway to Resolution”(Southern Evangelical Seminary, Christian Apologetics Journal, Volume 12, No.1/Spring 2014) which became a “go to” reference source for updated peer-reviewed studies and research on the issue and also provides a roadmap for solutions.
Ms. Hughes co-wrote the story for the season finale episode of Touched By an Angel TV Series which brought the message of online pornography and sexual predators
to primetime television and won Neilson ratings in its time slot during May sweeps.
Recent Awards- Founders Award (2015), National Center on Sexual Exploitation; The Professional Women in Advocacy 2014 Excellence In Advocacy Award for “Veteran Practitioner”; The Women in Technology (WIT) 2013 Leadership Award for “Social Impact”; Emmy Award as Executive Producer/Producer of The PBS/EIE Internet Safety 101® Television Series (2012); Emmy nomination in the Program Host/Moderator category.
CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY/GOVERNMENT TASK FORCES/BOARDS
Ms. Hughes has served on the Enough Is Enough Board of Directors (2002-Present) (Board Chairman 2013-Present); the MySpace Advisory Board (2006-2009), Internet Safety Technical Task Force in cooperation with the U.S. Attorneys General (2008); Virginia Attorneys General Youth Internet Safety Task Force (2006); the National House of Hope Board of Directors (1998-99). She was appointed by Senator Trent Lott to serve as a Commissioner on the Child Online Protection Commission (1998-2000). She also served on the Executive Committee of the first Children’s Internet Safety Summit in 1997 and led the adoption of the Internet industry’s “ZERO Tolerance” policy against child pornography, which was endorsed by the White House and D.O.J.
She has testified numerous times before various committees of the United States House of Representatives and Senate.
She is the founder and President of DRH Enterprises, which was established as a vehicle for her commercial speaking, media, publishing and consulting endeavors. DRH Enterprises has partnered with Friendly WiFi and RDI to bring the Friendly WiFi certification program to the United States.
B.S. Biology (Pre-med) with a minor focus in Business Administration. Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, Outstanding Senior Award, University of South Carolina (USC), 1980. USC Varsity cheerleader captain 1978-80.
Midlands Tech University (1978) – Certified Emergency Medical Technician