Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Iraq Ambassador Christopher Hill to head Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Christopher Hill

Iraq Ambassador Christopher Hill has been named dean of DU's Korbel School of International Studies.

Christopher Hill, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, has been named dean of the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, DU Chancellor Robert Coombe announced today.

Hill has served as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq since 2009; prior, he was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He also served as ambassador to the Republic of Korea. He has worked in the Senior Foreign Service for more than 30 years.

“We are delighted that Ambassador Hill will be joining the DU community as the new dean of the Josef Korbel School,” says Chancellor Coombe. “If one considers his tremendous experience and great success as a Foreign Service officer and diplomat, it’s apparent that this is just the sort of career for which we are educating our students at the Korbel School. He’s going to be a great dean.”

In 2005, Hill was selected to lead the U.S. delegation to the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. He served as U.S. ambassador to Poland (2000–04), ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia (1996–99) and special envoy to Kosovo (1998–99).  He also served as special assistant to the president and senior director for southeast European affairs in the National Security Council.

Earlier in his Foreign Service career, Hill served tours in Belgrade, Warsaw, Seoul and Tirana, worked on the State Department’s policy planning staff and in the department’s Operation Center. While on a fellowship with the American Political Science Association he served as a staff member for Congressman Stephen Solarz working on Eastern European issues. He also served as the State Department’s Senior Country Officer for Poland.

Hill received the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award for his contributions as a member of the U.S. negotiating team in the Bosnia peace settlement and was a recipient of the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations for his work on the Kosovo crisis.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Hill served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

“I am delighted to be coming to the Korbel School this fall. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to work with such talented faculty and staff and to do my part in providing the finest education possible for graduate and undergraduate students alike. I also look forward to being a member of the broader University of Denver community, and to contributing in any way I can to the friendly and scholarly atmosphere of this extraordinary center of learning,” Hill says.

Hill graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, with a BA in economics. He received a master’s degree from the Naval War College in 1994. He speaks Polish, Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian.

His appointment to the Korbel School is effective Sept. 1.

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