Frederic C. Hof
Resident Senior Fellow, 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
Read Full Bio
January 21, 2015US policy toward Syria is stalled in a cul-de-sac. It occupies the strategic low ground between an August 2011 presidential call for Bashar al-Assad to step aside, the June 2014 eruption of the Assad-conjured Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) intoâ€¦
January 05, 2015Turkey-based, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Roy Gutman of McClatchy closed out 2014 with a dispatch that would be shocking if only there were still capacity for shock when it comes to Washingtonâ€™s Syria policy. Gutman reported being told by Syrianâ€¦
December 22, 2014Reuters quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof on US policy toward Syria:
December 18, 2014Hope springs eternal in the Obama administration that a Deus ex machina in the form of a diplomatic process producing military de-escalation and Syrian political transition will enter unbidden from stage left and relieve the West of any obligation toâ€¦
December 15, 2014Ambassador Brett McGurk, the deputy to anti-Islamic State (anti-ISIS or -ISIL) coalition coordinator General John Allen, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on December 10, "We do not see a situation in which the [nationalist] rebels are able to removeâ€¦
Full BioFrederic C. Hof is a Resident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
On March 28, 2012 President Obama conferred on Hof the rank of ambassador in connection with his new duties as special advisor 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 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 attachĂ© 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.