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

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...

The Rogues Are Losing

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, October 30, 2005

Why the rogues of the Middle East have a very short future. By Charles Hill.

How to Save the United Nations (If We Really Have To)

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

The U.N. isn't dead yet—but it may soon be on life support. How to restore it to some semblance of health. By Charles Hill.

We Just Saved the United Nations. What For?

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 30, 2004

Hoover fellow Charles Hill explains how we can put the United Nations to better use.

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America Lays It on the Line

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 2003

The Bush Doctrine could transform international relations for generations to come. By Hoover fellow Charles Hill.

Analysis and Commentary

The Six-Front War

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, October 7, 2002

For a decade now, the state has been undermined from below while ceding sovereignty to higher levels.

The Myth and Reality of Arab Terrorism

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Hoover fellow Charles Hill on the roots of terrorism.
SIDEBAR: A Herculean Task.

War and the National Character

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

The terrorist attacks may have transformed the American character in ways the terrorists could never have anticipated. By Hoover fellow Charles Hill.

In, Out, and Down: Games Nations Play with America

by Charles Hillvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, October 30, 2001

It’s not easy being the world’s sole superpower. Hoover fellow Charles Hill reflects on the challenges of confronting a contentious post–Cold War world.

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