The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
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, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 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.