Hills Program on Governance

“The best way to end corruption is to first examine its underlying causes.” - from the 2009 Grawemeyer award citation for Michael Johnston

This program is no longer active.

About the Program

The objective of the Hills program is to identify serious governance problems, develop a better understanding of the corrupting influences that create such problems, and organize efforts to reduce those influences. The program operates out of 7 Centers at academic institutions in Asia, Latin America and Africa as well at CSIS in Washington DC. For more information see the Objectives of the Program on Governance.

Click here for our interactive presentation!

The Hills Program on Governance mourns the loss of Roderick M. Hills, its founder and chairman.  Rod and Carla Hills founded the program in 2003 to address the corrosive effects of poor governance, especially corruption, and to do so within the United States and on a global basis. Please see Remembering Roderick M. Hills.

Recent Events 

  • On May 1, 2015, the Hills program co-sponsored a conference on The Role of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a Changing World. The conference brought together over 60 professionals including current and past SEC chairs, company officials, attorneys, current and past SEC staff, and academics to discuss and make recommendations about protecting investors, enforcement of securities laws and regulations, regulating investment markets, and the role of the SEC at home and abroad.
  • On May 7, 2014, the Washington Center sponsored a panel discussion of Gerald Hyman's report Afghanistan after the Drawdown: U.S. Civilian Engagement in Afghanistan Post-2014. The panel consisted of former US Ambassador Ronald Neumann and CSIS Burke Chair on Strategy, Anthony A. Cordesman.
  • During March 5-7, 2014, the Hills Program hosted a conference at CSIS that brought together six of the seven global Hills Governance Programs. Participants from Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, and South Korea, joined their peers from the U.S. center to discuss issues ranging from anti-corruption, devolution, capital markets governance, to best practices in community integrity building. They were joined by Fredrik Galtung, advisory board member of the U. S. center and CEO of Integrity Action, and Professor Michael Johnston of Colgate University.
  • On November 18, 2013, the Kenya Center and the Washington Center co-hosted a discussion of governmental devolution in Kenya and elsewhere with a delegation including five Kenyan governors, the Chairman of the Transition Authority, and the Controller of Budget.
  • On October 10, 2013 at the Washington Center, Dr. Changyong Rhee, Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank, presented an analysis and supporting evidence on the important links between good governance and sustainable economic growth.
  • On September 30, 2013, the Washington Center hosted a presentation by Fredrik Galtung, CEO of Integrity Action, on his “fix rate” method of mobilizing communities to resolve (i.e. “fix”) problems important to them, to address obstacles to good governance at the local level, and to measure the results ("the fix rate”). A panel of Nancy Zucker Boswell, Ronald Goldstock, and Michael Johnston discussed the Fix Rate” approach, especially as it relates to reducing corruption.
  • On August 22, the Indonesia Center, together with the Melbourne Business School and the Indonesian Mining Association, held a panel discussion and produced a report dealing with the use of natural resources in a way that, following the best practices of some countries that strengthened governance (for example through increased transparency and property rights, sovereign wealth funds, and investments in education), has reduced the deleterious effects of “the resource curse,” including high levels of corruption.
  • In August 2013, executive director of the South Korea Center, Dr. Jongryn Mo, together with Stanford University Professor Barry Weingast, published Korean Political and Economic Development: Crisis, Security and Institutional Rebalancing.
    See Yonsei University, South Korea page.
  • On May 30, 2013, the Manila Center, together with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) organized a forum and panel discussion and issued a report on Corruption and Development.
  • On May 24, 2013, The Honorable Richard Thornburgh, a member of the Hills Program Advisory Board and former Attorney-General of the United States gave a speech “The Global Effort To Contain Official Corruption” at the American University Columbus College of Law.
  • Together with Integrity Action, theThe Kenya Center held an Integrity Leadership for Africa Course (ILAC) from April 29th- May 4th 2013 for 27 participants with backgrounds in government and civil society from 8 African countries. Each of the participants has submitted a proposed project to implement the principles discussed in the course. The most meritorious will be funded and mentored.
  • On December 6, 2012, the Washington Center celebrated the 9th anniversary of the Hills Governance Center at Yonsei University by hosting a luncheon for Yonsei’s President, Kap-Young Jeong.
  • In 2012, the Indonesia Center published “Is Corporate Governance Relevant? How Good Corporate Governance Practices Affect Indonesian Organizations” co-edited by the Center’s chairman, Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas and very favorably reviewed in the Australian National University’s August 2013 Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies.


On October 5, 2011, the Hills Program sponsored a book launch of Political and Social Foundations for Reform: Anti-Corruption Strategies for the Philippines by Colgate University Professor Michael Johnston.

On April 5-6 2011, the Washington Center co-sponsored (with the Starr Foundation and the Wharton School of Business) a workshop, including a report, on the Governance of Climate Change: Prospects for a Regional Initiative.

On March 31, 2010 Washington Center together with The American Assembly and The Institute of International Finance co-sponsored a panel discussion on the Governance of Financial Institutions and released a report. Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Paul Volcker, provided the keynote speech for the panel discussion.