Alice Hill

Research Fellow
Research Team: 

Alice C. Hill is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution where her work focuses on building resilience to destabilizing catastrophic events, including the impacts of climate change. Prior to joining Hoover, she served as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Senior Director for Resilience for the National Security Council. While at the White House, Hill led the development of national policy regarding national security and climate change, incorporation of climate resilience considerations into international development, Federal efforts in the Arctic, building national capabilities for long-term drought resilience, and establishment of national risk management standards for three of the most damaging natural hazards. She served as a member of several U.S. delegations, including to the GLACIER Conference regarding climate change in the Arctic. Hill previously served as Senior Counselor to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and as an ex officio member of the Federal Advisory Committee for the Third National Climate Assessment. In addition, she led the DHS Task Force responsible for creating the first ever climate adaptation plans for the Department. She is also the founder and first Chairperson of the internationally recognized Blue Campaign, an initiative to combat human trafficking.

Prior to her work in Washington, Hill served as Supervising Judge on both the Superior and Municipal Courts in Los Angeles and as Chief of the white-collar crime prosecution unit in the Los Angeles United States Attorney’s Office.

Hill is a frequent speaker and has been quoted in the NY Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She has appeared on CBS, NPR, and MSNBC and her written commentary has been published in Newsweek, LawFare, The Hill, and other media.

She received her BA from Stanford University and JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

A Primer On Resilience

by Alice Hillvia The Bulletin
Friday, April 6, 2018

Hoover Institution fellow Alice Hill analyzes the rising use of the term "resilience."

Analysis and Commentary

An Overview Of “Resilience” And Climate Change

by Alice Hill, William Kakenmastervia Taylor and Francis Online
Monday, February 19, 2018

What do we mean when we speak in terms of “resilience?” Why has “resilience” become the hot buzzword, and why is it useful for political leaders who want to avoid saying the words “climate change?” Will the choice of words make a difference when it comes to the need to design infrastructure – roads, bridges, tunnels, houses, factories, power plants, airports, railroads – with rising sea levels, increased storms, and hotter temperatures in mind?

Analysis and Commentary

New York’s Uphill Climb Vs. Big Oil: Winning In Court Will Be A Tough Task Indeed

by Alice Hillvia NY Daily News
Saturday, January 20, 2018

New York City just filed suit in federal court against five multinational oil companies: ExxonMobil, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell. The goal? To get monetary damages for the harm New York has already suffered from climate change impacts — coastal erosion, increased flooding and higher temperatures — and help with paying for the necessary investments to protect against future harm.

Analysis and Commentary

Think Small To Weather Big Storms

by Alice Hillvia Foreign Policy
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

[Subscription Required] At two minutes to noon on Sept. 1, 1923, the ground began to tremble in Tokyo and nearby Yokohama. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake had struck Japan. The shaking lasted for nearly five minutes, causing gas stoves to topple, which in turn ignited thousands of wooden buildings. The fires eventually claimed more lives than the quake itself — more than 140,000 people died in all. 

Analysis and Commentary

2017 Is A Record-Breaker -- And Not In A Good Way

by Alice Hillvia CNN
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

As this year comes to a close, 2017 is on track to set the all-time record for the most billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in any single year in US history.


We Should Plan Homes To Minimize The Threat Of Wildfires

by Alice Hill, Jesse M. Keenanvia Newsweek
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Americans have been settling the west for over one hundred and fifty years. Today, we tame it one suburban development at a time. According to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) measurement framework, the conversion rate from wildlands to urban development has grown to 4,000 acres per day or close to 2 million acres per year.

Analysis and Commentary

Global Warming Presents A Clear And Present Danger To America's National Security, World Stability

by Alice Hillvia Houston Chronicle
Saturday, September 23, 2017

"National security and climate change? My students just don't see the connection." This is what a Harvard law professor shared with me late last year. As it turns out, his students are not alone. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, only 56 percent of Americans see climate change as a major security threat.

Analysis and Commentary

After The Storms Have Passed: Rebuilding With Climate Change In Mind

by Alice Hillvia The Bulletin
Thursday, September 21, 2017

In 1953, the North Sea Flood in the Netherlands killed over 1,800 people, damaged tens of thousands of buildings, swept away livestock, and contaminated fertile lands, rendering them unusable for many years. The Dutch refer to these floods as the waternoodramp, or “water emergency disaster,” and on February 1 of each year, they still commemorate those who died then. 

Analysis and Commentary

Mr. President, You Need A Winning Strategy Against The Next Harvey

by Alice Hillvia The Hill
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Each year the president of the United States receives a briefing from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) about the upcoming hurricane season. This year’s briefing on August 4th was no different. After the briefing, President Trump tweeted, “Preparedness is an investment in our future!”

Analysis and Commentary

Shoring Up Coastal Infrastructure Is Long Past Due

by Alice Hillvia The Hill
Friday, August 25, 2017

It’s nearly Labor Day weekend and for millions of Americans that means heading to the coasts to enjoy a vacation of sun and surf at the beach. But imagine Labor Day in a few decades’ time with no beach to enjoy and coastal communities isolated by flooded roads.