Jim Hill was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1947, and raised there by his single mother. After growing up in the segregated South, he received a BA in economics from Michigan State University in 1969, an MBA from Indiana University in 1971, and a JD from Indiana University College of Law in 1974. Jim moved to Salem, Oregon, in 1974, where he raised a bi-racial daughter, Jennifer, and worked as an Assistant Attorney General at the Oregon Department of Justice. He went on to become an Oregon State Representative in 1983 and an Oregon State Senator in 1987. Some of his accomplishments were co-sponsoring the establishment of a holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., passing the Anti-Apartheid Act, creating the Oregon Resource and Technology Development Corporation (supplying seed capital to Oregon businesses), and introducing the bill to allow Oregon State Lottery funds to enhance Oregon’s economy. Jim became the first person of color to be elected to a statewide office in Oregon, serving two terms as State Treasurer beginning in 1993. During his tenure in this position, he oversaw an improvement of the state’s bond rating, and the creation of the Oregon Growth Account—an investment program exclusively dedicated to providing seed and venture capital dollars to Oregon businesses. Jim worked to improve financial literacy, and held the “Every Woman’s Money Conference” to provide women with the tools they needed to succeed financially. He then ran unsuccessfully for Governor of the State of Oregon. Jim has served on several important boards: the Northwest Health Foundation, the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs, the Oregon National Bar Association, NARAL, and the National Association of State Treasurers—where he served as President. Jim lives in Salem, Oregon, where he remains committed to making a difference through the power of the written word.
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