Director, UNC Campus Y
Richard Harrill is the director of the Campus Y at UNC-Chapel Hill. He was chair of a homelessness and hunger committee and co-president of the Campus Y as an undergraduate at Carolina (1988 t0 1991). He became its executive director in 2009. He has a three-decade career as an education entrepreneur and human rights advocate in Europe and the United States, which he says stems directly from his Campus Y student experiences. He lived in Hungary off and on throughout the 1990s and 2000s, serving first as a Peace Corps teacher in Veszprem and later as the director for Europe at the Public Interest Law Institute (now known as PILnet), a human rights NGO in Budapest that spun out of Columbia University School of Law. He also founded Demokratikus Ifjusagert Alapitvany (DIA), a nonprofit organization that was awarded the Echoing Green Fellowship in 1999 for its groundbreaking work building a national infrastructure for youth civic engagement in post-communist Hungary. In the US, Richard has served as Senior Fellow at the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, NJ, where he developed the values framework for the Bonner Scholars Program known as “the Common Commitments.” He directed Bard College’s Globalization and International Affairs Program (BGIA) in Manhattan for five years, establishing its experiential learning partnerships, while teaching courses on civil society development for the political studies department. Harrill was head of youth policy research at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, where he focused on civic engagement and school-to-work transition pathways for youth in OECD countries. Throughout his career, he has helped the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the International Foundation for Election Systems build out their youth civic engagement programs in Central Europe, the Balkans and the Caucasus region.