Thomas Hill is the senior program officer for North Africa at USIP. He most recently served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution where his research focused on reforming civilian U.S. foreign policy agencies. 

From 2013 to 2017, he was the senior professional staff member with the House Committee on Foreign Affairs majority staff, covering North Africa. Previously, he was a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State for nearly 10 years, serving in several domestic and overseas assignments. 

Hill has written extensively about ways to modernize the Department of State for the FixGov blog and The Hill and appeared on Al Jazeera, the BBC, and Federal News Radio. He has completed coursework towards a doctorate in political science at George Washington University, holds an master’s in International Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies from American University, a bachelor’s from Santa Clara University, and has studied Arabic at Birzeit University. 

Publications By Thomas

Tunisia’s new constitution expands presidential power. What’s next for its democracy?

Tunisia’s new constitution expands presidential power. What’s next for its democracy?

Thursday, July 28, 2022

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun;  Thomas M. Hill;  Leo Siebert

A year after Tunisian President Kais Saied began a series of moves that expanded presidential powers, a new constitution further empowering the presidency has been approved by referendum. Amid a dire economic crisis, many Tunisians expressed support for Saied’s moves, as the promise of the 2011 uprising evaporated over the last decade. While the referendum passed with 94 percent of the vote, only 30 percent of Tunisians participated. Once heralded as the sole democratic success of the Arab uprisings, Tunisia’s democratic future trajectory is more uncertain than ever following the constitutional referendum.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceEconomics

Tunisia's Twin Democracy and Economic Crises Push it to the Brink

Tunisia's Twin Democracy and Economic Crises Push it to the Brink

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

By: Thomas M. Hill

Last July, Tunisian President Kais Saied suspended parliament in what many observers called a bloodless coup. Saied’s supporters — of which there are many — claim that this extreme executive action was necessary to root out rampant government corruption and ineffectiveness. Polling at the time showed widespread dissatisfaction with the performance of parliament and the prime minister; many Tunisians felt that their high expectations following the 2011 popular revolution were not realized and that the country was heading in the wrong direction.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceEconomics

Morocco Reflects a Global South Dilemma: Water or Food?

Morocco Reflects a Global South Dilemma: Water or Food?

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

By: Thomas M. Hill;  Martin Pimentel

Morocco, like many countries across the “global south,” faces an intensifying dilemma: While it has improved its food production to reduce food insecurity and undernourishment, that progress has stressed the country’s limited water supplies with water-intensive industrial farming practices. As climate change intensifies structural drought throughout the Maghreb, Sahel and elsewhere, these regions must develop policies that treat food insecurity and water scarcity as interlinked crises. U.S. and international support for these changes will be vital.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

EnvironmentGlobal Policy

What’s Next for Libya’s Protracted Conflict?

What’s Next for Libya’s Protracted Conflict?

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

By: Thomas M. Hill

This week in Cairo, the United Nations will host the final round of scheduled talks between representatives from Libya’s two opposing governments: the House of Representatives (HoR) based in the eastern city of Tobruk and the High Council of State (HCS) based in the western city of Tripoli. The talks which began in April are intended to yield a “solid constitutional basis and electoral framework” for ending the country’s longstanding political stalemate.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionPeace Processes

Ukraine War Puts New Focus on Conflict in Western Sahara

Ukraine War Puts New Focus on Conflict in Western Sahara

Thursday, April 14, 2022

By: Thomas M. Hill

After years of stagnation in the conflict over the Western Sahara, the Russian war on Ukraine and other recent events could create openings to advance long-stalled Western Sahara peace efforts. Unprecedented parallel visits by America’s top two diplomats to Morocco and Algeria last month suggest that the U.S. is exploring this new opening. The United States should firmly grasp any new chance to end this often-forgotten conflict, which helps breed conditions for extremism and transnational crime, prevents much needed economic growth, and which risks worsened instability from the Mediterranean to Africa’s Sahel region.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

View All