Charles Hill

Research Fellow
Biography: 

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

Charles Hill and Fouad Ajami on Uncommon Knowledge

Fouad Ajami and Charles Hill—Trials of a Thousand Years

with Fouad Ajami, Charles Hillvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, July 29, 2011

Of Persian descent, Fouad Ajami was raised in Lebanon and came to the United States at age eighteen. He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the winner of this year’s Breindel Journalism Award.

During his career at the State Department, Ambassador Charles Hill served as an adviser to Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz. Hill is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the diplomat-in-residence at Yale. He is the author, most recently, of Trial of a Thousand Years: World Order and Islamism.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, left, arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in 1980

Trial of a Thousand Years

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Behind the headlines lies an old and basic question: in the clash between Islamism and the nation-state, who will win? By Charles Hill.

In the News

The Year That Changed the World

by Charles Hillvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Islamists grabbed us by the throat in 1979. They haven’t let go since...

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The Year That Changed the World

by Charles Hillvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Islamists grabbed us by the throat in 1979. They haven’t let go since.

Trial of a Thousand Years

Trial of a Thousand Years

by Charles Hillvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Thursday, May 5, 2011

Charles Hill analyzes the refusal of the ideologues of pan-Islam to accept the boundaries and responsibilities of the order of states.

Grand Strategies

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The road to statecraft runs through literature.

Analysis and Commentary

Novel Ideas

by Charles Hillvia Foreign Policy
Friday, August 13, 2010

Statesmen once looked to great works of literature to help them understand the world. No longer...

Charles Hill on <i>Uncommon Knowledge</i>

Charles Hill—Grand Strategies

with Charles Hillvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, July 23, 2010

Ambassador Hill is the author of a number of books, the most recent of which is Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order.

Analysis and Commentary

The New Great Game

by Charles Hillvia Forbes
Thursday, July 16, 2009

For years it's been a closely held secret: The People's Republic of China is an empire desperately trying to make the world think it's a state...

Analysis and Commentary

Giuliani, My Giuliani

by Charles Hill with George P. Shultzvia New York Sun
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nothing has been more dispiriting in the nearly two decades since the end of the Cold War than the ineptitude and lack of purpose in the conduct of American foreign policy...

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