Fiona Hill

Fiona Hill

Fiona Hill is a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe within the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. She also holds the prestigious position of chancellor at Durham University in the United Kingdom and was recently elected to the Harvard University Board of Overseers.

Hill served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the U.S. National Security Council from 2017 to 2019, as well as national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the U.S. National Intelligence Council from 2006 to 2009. She gained further prominence through her testimonies before Congress in 2019 during the first impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. Hill is the author of the bestselling memoir “There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century” (2021) and co-author of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin” (first edition 2013, second edition 2015) and “The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold” (2003), both with Clifford G. Gaddy.

Prior to joining Brookings in 2000, Hill was director of strategic planning at the Eurasia Foundation in Washington, D.C. From 1991 to 1999, she held a number of positions directing technical assistance and research projects at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, including associate director of the Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project, director of the Project on Ethnic Conflict in the Former Soviet Union, and coordinator of the Trilateral Study on Japanese-Russian-U.S. Relations. At Brookings she directed the Center on the United States and Europe from 2009 to 2017.

Hill has researched and published extensively on issues related to Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, regional conflicts, energy, and strategic issues. In spring 2023, Hill was a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, where she researched the link between deindustrialization and political populism in formerly heavy industrial regions of Germany as a follow-up to her most recent book.

Hill holds a master’s in Soviet studies and a doctorate in history from Harvard University where she was a Frank Knox Fellow. She also holds a master’s in Russian and modern history from St. Andrews University in Scotland, and has pursued studies at Moscow’s Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages.

Hill’s Reith Lecture on “Freedom from Fear” for the BBC was broadcast in December 2022 to an audience of over 200 million people worldwide. That same month, Hill was awarded the Insignia of Knight First Class of the Order of the Lion of Finland. In May 2023, Hill gave the annual Lennart Meri Lecture in Tallinn, Estonia, on “Ukraine in the New World Disorder.” In December 2023, Hill was recognized by the United Kingdom as a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, for services to international relations.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Russia, Caucasus, and Central Asia
    • Energy
    • Europe and Eurasia
    • Foreign policy
    • Security
  • Current Positions

    • Member, Alumni Association Council, Harvard University Graduate School
    • Member, Council on Foreign Relations
    • Fellow, Royal Society of the Arts
  • Past Positions

    • Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs, National Security Council (2017-2019)
    • National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia, The National Intelligence Council (2006-2009)
    • Director of Strategic Planning, Eurasia Foundation (1999-2000)
    • Associate Director, Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1994-1999)
    • Director, Annual U.S.-Russian Investment Symposium on Financial and Direct Investment Opportunities in Russia, Harvard University (1996-1999)
    • Director, Ethnic Conflict Project, John F. Kennedy School of Government (1993-1994)
    • Coordinator, Trilateral Study on Japanese-Russian-U.S. Relations, John F. Kennedy School of Government (1992)
    • Research Associate, Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project, John F. Kennedy School of Government (1991-1993)
  • Education

    • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1998
    • M.A., Harvard University, 1991
    • M.A., St. Andrews University, 1989

Media and Appearances

The Associated Press June 2, 2024

What mischief does [Putin] have to make when you have people within the American system itself denigrating it and pulling it down?

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Wall Street Journal March 27, 2024

[On Russian prisoner swaps] Putin will take more and more Americans… He has figured out he can exploit our domestic preoccupations and anxieties.

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New York Times March 26, 2024

It was classic for Putin to discount the warnings… The security services don’t have the bandwidth. They never have because they’re so focused on internal repression, and so focused on..."

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CBS News February 24, 2024

On “Face the Nation,” Fiona Hill discusses the death of Alexei Navalny and how Putin is emboldened by flagging U.S. support for Ukraine.

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Politico December 12, 2023

Ukraine has become a battlefield now for America and America’s own future — whether we see it or not — for our own defensive posture and preparedness, for our reputation and our..."

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ITV News December 13, 2022

The stress on Putin must be acute right now. This is a war that he is completely responsible for and he knows that people will be out to get him.

December 7, 2022

On December 7, Fiona Hill joined Yevgenia Albats of NYU’s Jordan Center for Advanced Study of Russia for a discussion on Vladimir Putin, Russia, and the invasion of Ukraine.

Business Insider July 14, 2022

Some people have said that might have been our last fair election in 2020. And it’s disastrous because that means that a portion of the population will always believe that whoever got..."

Politico February 20, 2022

[U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, is] a really good human being […] For the Russians, it’s very important to have someone they can talk to. [John Sullivan is] a guy they know...."

The Irish Times January 21, 2022

When people basically underestimate Putin or try to call the bluff he often makes good on it. We are in a very dangerous situation. […] Before we under-reacted; now there is a chance of..."

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