Christopher R. Hill
American diplomat
Christopher R. Hill
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Some highlights of Christopher R. Hills career
Christopher r. hill
Alma mater
Bowdoin College
U.S. Naval War College
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Former US ambassador: Trump 'winging it' with Taiwan call
CNN - 3 days
Former US Ambassador Christopher Hill tells CNN's Erin Burnett that President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with Taiwan is a cause for concern.
Article Link:
CNN article
Friday Talking Points -- Two Promises Hillary Clinton Should Make
Huffington Post - 3 months
Before we begin, we promise we'll get to that rather-provocative subtitle later, as we turn this week's talking points section over to an attempt at providing campaign advice for Team Clinton. We've been long wondering why Hillary hasn't made some sort of effort to put these two large issues behind her on the campaign trail, and our frustration has led us to offering up what she should say in order to achieve this goal. But we'll get to all of that in a moment. First, let's take a look at this week's political news. Conservative anti-feminist hero Phyllis Schlafly died this week, guaranteeing nobody will ever have to type her name again (we are always respectful of those with difficult last names to type, personally, since our own gets misspelled so often). Schlafly rose to prominence fighting the Equal Rights Amendment and was an unreconstructed "keep 'em barefoot and pregnant" type of gal (being an anti-feminist, we're sure she wouldn't take offense to being called a "gal"). ...
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Huffington Post article
We Don't Talk Enough About What's Going On In Syria, And Gary Johnson Is Proof
Huffington Post - 3 months
By now, you’ve heard about Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s gaffe regarding the Syrian city of Aleppo. “And what is Aleppo?” he asked during an interview Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” .@mikebarnicle: What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo? @GovGaryJohnson: And what is Aleppo? — Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) September 8, 2016 The question was startling to many people, and the media had a field day in response. Outlets like the Boston Globe, Slate and The New York Times covered it. But the problem isn’t just Johnson’s error. It’s that the candidate’s gaffe is capturing our national attention, while the deaths of thousands of people and the worst refugee crisis since World War II often don’t seem to inspire nearly as much concern. Deadspin pointed out that Google searches for the city’s name didn’t spike after a chlorine gas attack there on Tuesday. But Johnson’s flub brought a wave of interest. ...
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Huffington Post article
North Korea launched missile from submarine
CNN - 8 months
Fmr. Amb. Christopher Hill talks to CNNi's Nick Parker about what the launch means to North Korea's Military and regional stability
Article Link:
CNN article
Hill: Launch a 'military testing program'
CNN - 10 months
Former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, Christopher Hill offers his insight on the North Korean 'missile' launch.
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CNN article
Get Your Art Party Hop on... a Busy Saturday for Art in LA!
Huffington Post - 11 months
This Saturday, January 9, proves to be busy start for 2016 for the Los Angeles Art World. Some stand out exhibitions take place downtown, Santa Monica, Hollywood and in Culver City. CB1 Gallery celebrates the art of Los Angeles based artist Paul Donald in a solo exhibition titled "Endymion Project." The New Zealand born and Australian trained artist is focused on his own alienation with the role of a white male in today's society. image: Courtesy of CB1 Gallery, Endymion Project, 610 x 471 Inspired by Endymion from Classical mythology (who has been immortalized by European painter starting as early as the late eighteenth century), one senses the artist's identification with the vulnerability of his mythological counterpart. "Endymion Project" will feature a live performance along with a group of objects that are meant to celebrate and obscure the naked white male body. Both the performance and exhibition are simultaneously inspired by the artist's ambivalence to his o ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Get Your Art Party Hop on... a Busy Saturday for Art in LA!
Huffington Post - 11 months
This Saturday, January 9, proves to be busy start for 2016 for the Los Angeles Art World. Some stand out exhibitions take place downtown, Santa Monica, Hollywood and in Culver City. CB1 Gallery celebrates the art of Los Angeles based artist Paul Donald in a solo exhibition titled "Endymion Project." The New Zealand born and Australian trained artist is focused on his own alienation with the role of a white male in today's society. image: Courtesy of CB1 Gallery, Endymion Project, 610 x 471 Inspired by Endymion from Classical mythology (who has been immortalized by European painter starting as early as the late eighteenth century), one senses the artist's identification with the vulnerability of his mythological counterpart. "Endymion Project" will feature a live performance along with a group of objects that are meant to celebrate and obscure the naked white male body. Both the performance and exhibition are simultaneously inspired by the artist's ambivalence to his o ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
George W. Bush Award Draws Protest Plans At University Of Denver
Huffington Post - about 3 years
DENVER -- Students, faculty and alumni at the University of Denver plan to protest when the university's international studies school presents an award to former president George W. Bush next week. Bush will be recognized Monday evening at a fundraising dinner in Denver both for his service as president as well as efforts to fight HIV, cervical cancer and malaria in Africa. The Josef Korbel School's decision has outraged many at the school who fault the 43rd president for starting the war in Iraq and allowing the use of torture on prisoners. Bush will have a public discussion with the school's dean, former Iraq ambassador Christopher Hill, during the private event at a downtown hotel. Students and graduates say the award will hurt the international standing of the school, which is named after Josef Korbel, the father of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and is known for its focus on human rights. "He's tarnishing Korbel's name in an attempt to rebrand Bush as a positive c ...
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Huffington Post article
College Faculty Joins Students In Opposing George W. Bush Award
Huffington Post - over 3 years
From The Colorado Independent's Andrea Tudhope. Outcry is escalating around the decision made by the University of Denver’s international studies school to honor former President George W. Bush at a fundraising dinner this September. In addition to 1,500 students and alumni protesting the award, 24 of 40 full-time faculty members at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies have signed a letter decrying the honor. “When we first learned of the award to the former President, ‘for improving the human condition,’ we were shocked, disappointed, and embarrassed in light of his administration’s decisions to repudiate the U.S.’s responsibilities as a signatory of the UN’s Convention against Torture by authorizing the use of waterboarding of prisoners,” wrote members of the faculty in the July 5 letter to Dean Christopher Hill, a top diplomat in Bush’s administration, University Provost Gregg Kvistad and Chancellor Robert Coombe. Among faculty who signed the petition a ...
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Huffington Post article
DU Draws Heat For Plan To Present Bush With Humanitarian Award
Huffington Post - over 3 years
From The Colorado Independent's Andrea Tudhope. Hundreds of students, staffers and alumni are protesting the University of Denver’s decision to honor former President George W. Bush with an award traditionally recognizing recipients for their work on behalf of humanity. “It’s been mostly just a lot of surprise,” Seth Masket, associate professor of Political Science said of the award to be bestowed by the University’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. “Why Korbel sought out to do this and honor Bush in this way – it all seems very unusual.” The Korbel School was founded by Josef Korbel, father of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Among various other widely recognized graduates of Korbel is former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and U.S. Army General George Casey. The school hosts the Korbel Dinner to present the award each year. In June, the Sept. 9 dinner was announced and invitations circulated both by mail and on the school ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Donald Gross: Cooperating With China to Contain North Korea
Huffington Post - over 3 years
After nearly two months of outrageous North Korean threats and high tension on the Korean peninsula, the United States intends to rely much more heavily on China to achieve core American security goals in Northeast Asia -- maintaining stability while containing the threats from Pyongyang. In the face of real uncertainty about North Korea's intentions over the past weeks, military measures taken by the Obama administration followed the overriding logic of deterrence. Those measures helped preserve stability in Korea and prevent the outbreak of war. It is far better, after all, to remind North Korea of U.S. capabilities by flying B-52s, B-2 bombers and F-22 stealth fighters over South Korea than to order pre-emptive strikes that could lead to a new Korean conflict. Given North Korea's considerable military prowess -- large stocks of chemical and biological weapons, more than 100,000 highly-trained special forces, extensive artillery and missiles deployed near the demi ...
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Huffington Post article
Video: How seriously should we take North Korea's threats?
CBS News - over 3 years
Former Ambassador to South Korea, Christopher Hill gives his insight into the threats coming from North Korea.
Article Link:
CBS News article
Video: North Korea analysis: bluster or serious threat?
CBS News - over 3 years
Former US Ambassador to South Korea, Christopher Hill, took part in multi-national talks over North Korea in 2005. He gives us a diplomatic analysis on what the recent belligerent tone of the North Korean regime.
Article Link:
CBS News article
NKorean uranium nuclear test would raise stakes
Fox News - almost 4 years
As North Korea warns that it plans its third nuclear test since 2006, outside governments and analysts are trying to determine a crucial question: Just what will Pyongyang's scientists explode? The last two tests are believed to have been of plutonium devices, but the next logical step for Pyongyang's ambitious nuclear program could be to conduct a highly enriched uranium explosion. That would be a major accomplishment for North Korea — and a worrying development that would raise already high stakes for the United States and its allies. Here's why: EASY TO HIDE: Nuclear bombs can be produced with highly enriched uranium or plutonium. North Korea is believed to have exploded plutonium devices in the two tests it has conducted so far, in 2006 and 2009. Uranium bombs worry Washington and North Korea's neighbors because plants making highly enriched uranium are much easier to hide than plutonium facilities. The lat ...
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Fox News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Christopher R. Hill
Born in 1952.
Hill's father was a diplomat in the Foreign Service and as a child Hill traveled with the family to many countries. After American diplomats were expelled from Haiti, Hill's family moved to Little Compton, Rhode Island where Hill attended Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island, graduating in 1970.
He then went on to study at Bowdoin College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1974.
Hill was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon from 1974 to 1976.
Hill credits his work with the Peace Corps for teaching him his first lessons in diplomacy. As a volunteer, Hill worked with credit unions and when he discovered that one board of directors had stolen 60 percent of their members' money, he reported on the malfeasance to their members, who promptly re-elected them because the board reflected carefully balanced tribal interests and it really did not matter to the members if the board directors ran a good credit union or not. Hill said the lesson was that "When something's happened, it's happened for a reason and you do your best to understand that reason. But don't necessarily think you can change it." Hill took the Foreign Service exam while he was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon. Hill received a master's degree from the Naval War College in 1994. He speaks Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, and Albanian.
Hill joined the State Department in 1977.
Hill served as Secretary for Economic Affairs at the Embassy of the United States in Seoul from 1983 to 1985.
When he returned to Korea in 2004 as Ambassador, he began by saying "I was here for three years in the 1980s, one has to be a little careful about drawing on too much experience from so long ago. So, even though I'll certainly draw on my experience from the 1980s, I think I also need to do an awful lot of listening to people to understand what has been going on lately." Hill served as the U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia from 1996 to 1999, Special Envoy to Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, Ambassador to Poland from 2000 to 2004, and ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2004 to 2005 before being appointed as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. While on a fellowship with the American Political Science Association, Hill served as a member of the staff of Congressman Stephen Solarz.
Hill was part of the team that negotiated the Bosnia peace settlement. While working on Balkan issues, Hill worked closely with Richard Holbrooke, serving as his deputy at the Dayton Peace Talks in 1995.
Holbrooke described Hill as "brilliant, fearless and argumentative" in his book on the Dayton negotiations and said that Hill manages to be both "very cool and very passionate." The combination, Holbrooke said, enhances Hill's "extremely good negotiating skills." Hill said the negotiations with the Bosnians, Serbs and Croats were successful because all the parties "were all ready to settle.' Hill had a diplomatic failure as special envoy to Kosovo "because the Serbs were not ready to relinquish their stranglehold on Kosovo, so we ended up in a NATO bombing campaign." "Like a lot of things in life: you’ve got to do everything you can do" Hill said, to ensure "that you have left no stone unturned, that you have really tried."
Hill was a recipient of the Robert C. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations for his work on the Kosovo crisis. The award is named for Hill's friend Bob Frasure, a fellow American diplomat killed in 1995 in Bosnia.
Christopher Hill was granted an award from the Macedonian Government to be honorary citizen because of his service as Ambassador in Skopje and building up the U.S. - Macedonian relations. In January 2006, Hill gave a lecture entitled "U.S. Policy in East Asia and the Pacific" at the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series. In 2005, Hill was honored with the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award and in February 2008, Hill was awarded the "Building Bridges" Award by the Pacific Century Institute. The recipients are recognized as people who have enhanced relations between Americans and Asians and who exemplify PCI's commitment to building bridges to a better future.
On February 14, 2005, Hill was named as the Head of the U.S. delegation to the six-party talks aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis.
In May 2006, Hill described the New Zealand's 1985 anti-nuclear legislation as "a relic", and signaled that the US wanted a closer defence relationship with New Zealand.
He also praised New Zealand's involvement in Afghanistan and reconstruction in Iraq. "Rather than trying to change each other's minds on the nuclear issue... I think we should focus on things we can make work", Hill said adding that the US would not demand to "put ships back into New Zealand."
In November 2006 President George W. Bush nominated Hill for the grade of career minister, the second-highest rank for career diplomats.
The elite title is one step below career ambassador.
In the first visit to North Korea by a senior American official in over five years, Hill flew into Pyongyang on June 21, 2007 for a two-day visit where he was warmly greeted by Ri Gun, the North's deputy nuclear negotiator at the airport. "We want to get the six-party process moving", Mr. Hill said. "We hope that we can make up for some of the time that we lost this spring, and so I’m looking forward to good discussions about that."
The visit had been organized in secrecy. Hill had been visiting Tokyo and flew to South Korea and then on to Pyongyang on a small jet. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice informed regional allies Japan and South Korea just before Hill's departure from Tokyo.
On July 14, 2007 North Korea informed Hill that they had shut down the nuclear reactor at Yongbyon and admitted an international inspection team.
Hill cautioned that the shutdown was "just the first step." Verifying the declaration will be difficult, because for now the inspectors are limited to the Yongbyon complex.
On September 3, 2007 the New York Times reported that Hill met in Geneva for two days of one-on-one negotiations with Kim Kye-gwan, who heads the North Korean negotiating team, and that North Korea had agreed to disable its main nuclear fuel production plant by the end of 2007 and to account for all of its nuclear programs to international monitors.
North Korea had also agreed to turn off its main nuclear reactor this summer. "One thing that we agreed on is that the D.P.R.K. will provide a full declaration of all of their nuclear programs and will disable their nuclear programs by the end of this year, 2007", Hill told reporters.
On December 20, 2007 the Korea Times reported that Kathleen Stephens, adviser to Hill at the State Department in the office of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, had been appointed as the next ambassador to South Korea.
Sources said that Hill had recommended Stephens for the ambassadorial position for her understanding and experiences on Korean affairs. Stephens served as an advisor to Hill during the North Korean nuclear talks, and reportedly was working on a peace treaty for the Korean Peninsula. On January 8, 2008 the New York Times reported that North Korea had missed a deadline to submit an inventory of its nuclear arms programs and that Hill said that failure to meet a deadline should be confronted with patience and perseverance. "They were prepared to give a declaration which wasn’t going to be complete and correct and we felt that it was better for them to give us a complete one even if it's going to be a late one", said Hill.
On February 7, 2008 Hill told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that talks with North Korea are at a "critical, challenging" point.
Washington has refused to remove North Korea from its terrorism blacklist until the promised list of its nuclear efforts is provided. "Let me be clear", Hill said. " 'Complete and correct' means complete and correct. This declaration must include all nuclear weapons, programs, materials and facilities, including clarification of any proliferation activities."
On March 2, 2008 Hill said in an interview in Beijing that US diplomatic relations with Korea were possible before the end of the Bush administration if Korea completely dismantled its nuclear program. "We've told them we are not prepared to do that until they give up their nuclear materials", said Hill. "We can begin the process of discussing what we are going to do, whether we are going to open embassies, that sort of thing.
But we will not have diplomatic relations with a nuclear North Korea." On April 11, 2008 the Washington Post reported that a tentative deal has been reached with North Korea concerning a range of nuclear activities and the lifting of sanctions against North Korea. The agreement would include North Korea's disabling of its main nuclear facility and a complete accounting of North Korea's plutonium. "We are trying to focus on the plutonium as we try to resolve our suspicions on uranium enrichment", said chief U.S. negotiator Christopher R. Hill. "That's where the bombs are. We don't have suspicions about plutonium; we have cold, hard facts about plutonium." Although Hill is not well known in the United States, he has become a celebrity in China as chief envoy in talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Part of the reason is that during negotiations Hill speaks every morning and evening to the media and has an easygoing manner, while his North Korean counterpart, Kim Kye Gwan, gives only occasional media access.
Hill said in an interview on April 21, 2008 in the Seattle Times that the United States' relationship with China is the most important bilateral relationship in the world. "I would say the China relationship is the most important bilateral relationship we have in the world", says Hill. "We have some 57 dialogues with Chinese counterparts, ranging from global warming to economic and trade issues.
I would say we spend a great deal of time and attention on things Chinese with the understanding that in the long run we have to have a good working relationship with 1.3 billion people." Hill says that China has been an active participant in the six-party talks. "China is a very active participant. It's an area we have succeeded in working with them very productively and pragmatically on an area of mutual concern", says Hill. "China looks at North Korea in very different ways from how we look at them. You have to recall they were a historical partner and ally. Chinese veterans associations trace their roots to the Korean War. All that said, China is very much convinced that North Korea needs to give up its nuclear ambitions." Hill says that recent events in China and protests surrounding the torch relay for the Olympics may not result in improved human rights. "The Chinese people are very proud of hosting the Olympics. This sense of pride transcends political views within China", says Hill. "Even people who are extremely critical of their own government, and there are many Chinese who are very critical of their own government, even those people are filled with a sense of pride that China is hosting these Olympics. Many of them have taken the view that those who would somehow boycott the Olympics are doing so out of a desire to keep China down and otherwise humiliate and embarrass China.
US President Barack Obama nominated Christopher Hill for the post of U.S. Ambassador to Iraq on March 11, 2009.
After having faced opposition from Republican Senators such as Sam Brownback, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham, Hill was approved on April 20 to be the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq by the Senate with 73 votes for, and 23 against. Hill's lack of Middle East experience made him a controversial choice for the position. Despite extending his tenure, he failed to broker a deal on the formation of a new government.
In 2012, Hill was appointed as an honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2013 New Year Honours.
Hill is divorced from Patty Whitelaw and has three grown children, Nathaniel, Amelia, and Clara. He is married to the former Julie Ann Ryczek, a school teacher and health and nutrition advocate from Treasure Island, Florida.
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