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
February 25, 2015Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof joins BBC World News to discuss the recent abduction of ninety Syrian Christians by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham:
February 23, 2015My friend and former governmental colleague Robert Ford was recently depicted in a newspaper article as having done a U-turn on the question of arming Syrian nationalists currently resisting both the Assad regime and the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL).â€¦
February 17, 2015In a word: yes. Bashar al-Assad is absolutely crucial to defusing the conflict in Syria. United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura attracted considerable controversy and criticism for having stated the obvious.
February 17, 2015Another session (the fifth) of intensive, informal discussions with senior, well-connected, and non-official Iranians produced no startling breakthroughs on the subject of Syria. Yet, there may be a way forward toward official discussions as Iranians try to strike a balanceâ€¦
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€¦
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.