Charles Hill

Research Fellow

Charles Hill, a career minister in the US Foreign Service, is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Hill was executive aide to former US secretary of state George P. Shultz (1985–89) and served as special consultant on policy to the secretary-general of the United Nations (1992–96). He is also the Brady-Johnson Distinguished Fellow in Grand Strategy and a senior lecturer in humanities at Yale.

Among Hill's awards are the Superior Honor Award from the Department of State in 1973 and 1981; the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 1987 and 1989; and the Secretary of State's Medal in 1989. He was granted an honorary doctor of laws degree by Rowan University.

In 1978, Hill was deputy director of the Israel desk and became political counselor for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv in 1979. He was named director of Israel and Arab-Israeli affairs in 1981, and he served as deputy assistant secretary for the Middle East in 1982.

Hill began his career in 1963 as a vice consul in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1964, he became a Chinese-language officer in Taichung, Taiwan, and in 1966 was appointed as a political officer in Hong Kong. He was involved in the 1974 Panama Canal negotiations, becoming a member of the policy planning staff as a speechwriter for Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975.

During 1970, he was a fellow at the Harvard University East Asia Research Center. He was a Clark Fellow at Cornell University in 1989.

He received an AB degree from Brown University in 1957, a JD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960, and an MA degree in American studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1961.

Hill has collaborated with former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali on Egypt's Road to Jerusalem, a memoir of the Middle East peace negotiations, and Unvanquished, about US relations with the United Nations in the post–cold war period. His book Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order was published by Yale University Press in 2010. Hill’s most recent book is Trial of a Thousand Years: World Order and Islamism (Hoover Institution Press, 2011).

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary

The Arab Spring in Egypt
Featured AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary


by Charles Hillvia The Caravan
Wednesday, July 24, 2013

To the American imagination over more than two centuries, some nations have seemed more “real” than others – and it is in fact true that a few states in today’s international world convey a seemingly eternal essence while most are ordinary modern creatures.

Blue Globe showing US
Featured AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary

Nixon Predicts

by Charles Hillvia The Caravan
Monday, April 8, 2013

“World order after Pax Americana?”  As Virgil would say, ‘Horresco referens:”  Telling it makes me shudder.

Will the Empires Strike Back?

by Charles Hill, Rob Pollockvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2013

Liberal democracy took centuries to establish. Without American leadership it could collapse, says Hoover fellow Charles Hill. By Robert L. Pollock.

Analysis and Commentary

The Caravan: World Order in the Age of Obama

by Charles Hillvia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, November 30, 2012
Featured Analysis

World Order in the Age of Obama

by Charles Hillvia The Caravan
Friday, November 30, 2012

The mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler prophesied that “We shall not get through this time without difficulty, for all the factors are prepared” Kepler was predicting the Thirty Years’ War of 1618-1648, that would launch the modern international state system in which

A New Grand Strategy

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Monday, August 13, 2012

The greater Mideast is being transformed. Now the United States must transform its Mideast policy just as dramatically. By Charles Hill.

Analysis and Commentary

The Caravan: Their Time

by Charles Hillvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Featured Analysis

Their Time

by Charles Hillvia The Caravan
Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Diplomacy - not as some claim, journalism - is the second oldest profession. As such, a lot can go wrong. The upheaval in the Middle East, and the heightened drive for an Islamist Ascendency which it has propelled, require a reassessment of this art for the new century.

Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami on Uncommon Knowledge

Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami

with Charles Hill, Fouad Ajamivia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This week on Uncommon Knowledge Hoover fellows Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami discuss the Middle East: its past, present, and future.
“If you take a look at the authoritarian world of today, the Arab world looks bereft of democratic tradition, but that wasn’t always the case.”