Frederic C. Hof
Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
TopicsDemocracy and human rights, Foreign and economic assistance to Arab countries, Syrian Conflict, US policy in the Middle East
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May 23, 2016On May 20, 2016 Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu proposed that the United States and Russia coordinate air strikes against Nusra Front positions in northwestern Syria. Shoigu helpfully added that his proposal had been coordinated with the Assad regime in…
May 19, 2016The International Syrian Support Group (ISSG) met in Vienna on May 17, 2016 and issued a statement summing up its work. The language of the statement on civilian protection and humanitarian access is positive and assertive. Russia and Iran have…
May 19, 2016For Obama administration, anti-terrorism agenda comes at the cost of human rights when picking partners, says Human Rights Watch’s Kenneth Roth The Obama administration has, in the conduct of its war against terrorism, embraced a “shortsighted” approach that sets aside…
May 16, 2016Blanford in Christian Science Monitor, Quoting Hof: Why One Hundred Year Old Borders Drawn by Two European Still Define the Middle East
May 13, 2016Senior officials of countries very closely allied to the United States are registering with a variety of contacts their concern that Secretary of State John Kerry is "rushing into a deal" that would accept the Russian interpretation of the Syrian…
Full BioFrederic C. Hof is the director of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and specializes in Syria. Prior to becoming director, he was a resident senior fellow with the Center.
On March 28, 2012 President Obama conferred on Hof the rank of Ambassador in connection with his new duties as Special Adviser for transition in Syria. Hof was previously the Special Coordinator for Regional Affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchell on the full range of Arab-Israeli peace issues falling under his purview and focusing on Syria-Israel and Israel-Lebanon matters. He joined the State Department in 2009 after serving as the President and CEO of AALC, limited company, an international business consulting and project finance firm formerly known as Armitage Associates LC.
Hof's professional life has focused largely on the Middle East. In 2001 he directed the Jerusalem field operations of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee headed by former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and was the lead drafter of the Committee's 2001 report. In 1983, as a US Army officer, he helped draft the "Long Commission" report, which investigated the October 1983 bombing of the US Marine headquarters at Beirut International Airport. Both reports drew considerable international praise for fairness and integrity.
A 1969 graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Hof began his professional career as an Army officer. He is a Vietnam veteran and served as a US Army Middle East Foreign Area Officer, studying Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute in Tunisia and receiving a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served as US Army Attaché in Beirut, Lebanon and later in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Director for Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestinian Affairs.
Hof has written extensively on Arab-Israeli issues. He is the author of Galilee Divided: The Israel-Lebanon Frontier, 1916-1984 (Westview Press, 1985); Line of Battle, Border of Peace? The Line of June 4, 1967 (Middle East Insight, 1999); and Beyond the Boundary: Lebanon, Israel and the Challenge of Change (Middle East Insight, 2000). He has also written many articles on Jordan Valley water issues. His writing on the Israel-Syria, Israel-Lebanon, and (by virtue of his work on the "Mitchell Committee") Israel-Palestinian tracks of the Middle East peace process has contributed positively to the body of literature promoting Arab-Israeli peace.
His awards include the Purple Heart, the Department of State Superior Honor Award, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, and the Defense Superior Service Medal. He resides in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, Brenda.