Frederic C. Hof

Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East

hof fred

Expert Connect

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Expertise

Topics

Democracy and human rights, Foreign and economic assistance to Arab countries, Syrian Conflict, US policy in the Middle East

Regions

Lebanon, Syria

Languages

Arabic

Read Full Bio

Recent Activity

  • May 16, 2017
    The Washington Post reported on May 15 that US President Donald J. Trump disclosed highly classified information to two Russian officials—Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak—in their White House meeting on May 10. “The
  • May 15, 2017
    The visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House offers an opportunity for two NATO allies to get to “Yes” on Syria. It is important that they do so. Yet as matters now stand it is doubtful
  • May 10, 2017
    On May 9, 2017, the United States Department of Defense (DoD) announced President Trump’s approval of a DoD proposal to provide arms to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a militia that has emerged over the past two-plus years
  • May 10, 2017
    On May 4, 2017 in Astana (Kazakhstan) Iran, Russia, and Turkey signed a memorandum “on the creation of de-escalation areas in the Syrian Arab Republic.” Four such areas were listed: “Idlib province and certain parts of the neighboring provinces (Latakia,
  • April 27, 2017
    During the first six years of conflict in Syria, American diplomats tried to bring order to chaos but found themselves disabled by a White House determined not to alienate Iran. Consciously or not, the Trump administration has resurrected American diplomacy
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Full Bio

Frederic 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.

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