In his more than thirty years of military service, Major General William C. Hix has served in numerous operational, command, and strategic positions, including his current assignment as director of strategy, plans, and policy for the US Army Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff. Hix’s career has brought him to Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan, North Africa, and the Hoover Institution, where he was a member of the 2005–6 class of National Security Affairs Fellows.
The National Security Affairs Fellowship (NSAF) program draws rising leaders from each branch of the armed services and the Department of State to engage with Hoover fellows and the larger academic community at Stanford University. National Security Affairs Fellows spend a year in residence at Hoover contributing to the institution’s research and publications and developing policy recommendations for their respective departments and branches of service.
Hix joined the NSAF program following his thirteen months of service in Iraq as chief of strategy, plans, and assessment directorate for the Multi-National Force – Iraq and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His research at Hoover included a Hoover Digest piece titled “The Task before Us” that explained the economic, social, and political developments needed to support military gains in Iraq; the article was cited twice in the Wall Street Journal.
A decade later, Hix’s work to direct the army in identifying and preparing for operational challenges brought him back to Hoover to discuss the institution’s latest national security research and reconnect with former colleagues. Hix’s visit included more than a dozen meetings and briefings with fellows including George Shultz, Amy Zegart, and the 2015–16 class of National Security Affairs Fellows. Topics discussed included cyber security policy, extremist movements and civil conflict, and regional issues in Russia, China, and the Middle East.
Highlights from the visit included meeting with Research Fellow Kori Schake on civil-military relations in the United States, the topic of the forthcoming book Warriors and Citizens: American Views of our Military, coauthored by Schake and Davies Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow general Jim Mattis. “Bill Hix is a serious-minded soldier that Stanford benefits from having a continuing connection to,” remarked Schake. “I learn from him on how he’s thinking about our nation’s security challenges and what the solution sets look like.”
Hix also met with Research Fellow Tim Kane to discuss the army’s personnel policies, specifically the high quality of troops in the all-volunteer force, retention challenges, and reforming military performance reviews. “The visit from General Hix was invaluable,” said Kane. “It is gratifying to know that the army’s senior leaders continue to look toward the Hoover Institution for insights, not just in strategic and operational areas, but in the human dimension as well.”
Hix’s visit made it possible for numerous Hoover fellows to weigh in on pressing issues confronting the armed forces today and in the future. Hoover will continue to offer resources for the more than one hundred other NSAF alumni as they follow Hix’s example of strategic leadership.