Former Bush School of Government and Public Service student Chris Hill conducted research on global democratic erosion that helped land him a job at USAID. He worked as a Scowcroft Institute Fellow and created a database for the findings as a part of his position at the Bush School.
Hill earned the Scowcroft summer fellowship immediately following his capstone work. Bush School students are required to participate in a capstone project—an integrative, team-based, applied research project that is a program requirement. The projects fully prepare students to supervise, conduct, and evaluate large-scale public policy research and culminate in a formal, written report and oral presentation to the client.
Hill and his colleagues created the Democratic Erosion Event Dataset webpage over the summer as a part of the Democratic Erosion collaborative course taught around the world. Hill individually presented at the Washington, DC, biannual USAID Center of Excellence for Democracy, Rights, and Governance Partners’ Forum. He was offered the opportunity to network with partners to display the database and website. He also presented with Dr. Jessica Gottlieb at the Democratic Erosion Conference at Brown University in August.
“I began the fellowship by continuing to work on our capstone reports. We weren’t able to include everything that we hoped to in the two reports due to time constraints, so I focused on that in addition to some copy editing. Afterwards, the bulk of my work related to the construction of our website. This was new work, but it was highlighting materials that the capstone team put together during the spring semester (e.g., putting the database online),” Hill said.
Hill’s experiences have launched his career in Washington. He used the skills and ongoing research in collaboration with USAID to land a job in the nation’s capital. He works at a USAID Office of Transition Initiatives on a program implementing the 2016 peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
“Given the professional development opportunities that the fellowship provided me, I’m very grateful to both the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs and Dr. Gottlieb for the opportunity to serve in this role, and I would encourage current Bush School students to consider the fellowship as they make their post-graduation plans,” Hill said.