Christopher Hill (Cameroon) new Professor of Diplomacy at Denver University


From The Denver Post

DU creates professor of diplomacy post, aims for a bigger role in world events



Christopher Hill

“The University of Denver says it wants to play a bigger role in world events and is kickstarting those efforts by giving former ambassador to Iraq Christopher R. Hill [Cameroon 1974–76] a new job.

Hill, dean of DU’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies for the past seven years, on Tuesday was named chief adviser to the chancellor for global engagement and professor of the practice of diplomacy, a first-of-its-kind role for a major American university, school officials said.

In this newly created role, Hill will provide leadership on the global stage, drawing upon his experience and relationships with people, governments and organizations around the world, DU chancellor Rebecca Chopp said.

“We are living through a moment of dynamic and unpredictable change across the world,” Chopp said Tuesday. “As a university committed to serving the public and global good, we have an opportunity and responsibility to increase our footprint on the global stage. Ambassador Hill has an extraordinary track record of leadership, and his efforts will raise the visibility and reputation of our university.”

“We are really building a whole university profile,” Chopp said. “I think the whole university will be seen as a strong global actor” through Hill’s appointment.

Senior associate dean Pardis Mahdavi will become acting dean of the Korbel School.

Hill will use contacts he developed through years of diplomacy to position DU to be a leader in international study and initiatives, Chopp said. “Chris will be helping to make those contacts for DU and allow us to be seen as a global actor,” she said.

As DU’s first and only professor of the practice of diplomacy, he will lead undergraduate courses on the principles of and current trends in diplomacy and foreign policy. He will also host high-ranking international visitors and conduct lectures and other events to highlight global issues on campus.

 “At this moment of dramatic change in our economic, cultural and political institutions, the University of Denver can be a powerful voice in the most important dialogues of our time,” Hill said.”

photo by Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

In 2015 Christopher Hill won the Peace Corps Writers Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award for his memoir Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy

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  • From the Wikipedia page on Christopher Hill:

    “Hill was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon from 1974 to 1976.[8] Hill credits his work with the Peace Corps for teaching him his first lessons in diplomacy.[8] 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.[8] 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 rarely mentions his Peace Corps service. It was not mentioned in the announcement of his promotion. Denver University has a thriving RPCV student community and has been very welcoming to CORPCV and NPCA events.

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