WASHINGTON, DC – The Atlantic Council named former State Department Special Adviser for transition in Syria, Frederic C. Hof, as Director of its Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. Hof has been a Senior Fellow for the Hariri Center since November 2012, and will assume his position as Director on May 11, 2016.

“At a crucial historic moment in the Middle East, Hof brings to us the accumulated wisdom of more than three decades in some of the US government’s toughest assignments,” said Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council.

“To lead the remarkable Hariri Center team is both daunting and inspiring. My hope is that my work will honor the life and legacy of Rafik Hariri, who devoted himself to the pursuit of political legitimacy, problem solving through dialogue, and optimism in the capabilities and potential of the people of the Middle East,” said Hof.

Hof is a leading expert on political legitimacy in Syria and the Middle East, after a distinguished career as a US Army officer, a private sector CEO, and a US Department of State diplomat. Prior to joining the Council, he served as adviser on Syrian political transition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 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 focused on Syria-Israel and Israel-Lebanon matters.

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. He joined the State Department in 2009 after serving as the President and CEO of AALC, limited company. 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.

The Atlantic Council launched the Hariri Center in 2011 as a living memorial to Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister who was brutally assassinated in 2005. Five years later, the Hariri Center continues to honor the life and legacy of the late Rafik Hariri by framing policy options for the transatlantic community aimed at encouraging and facilitating political legitimacy in the states of the Arab World.

For more information about the Hariri Center or interviews with any of its experts, please contact us at press@AtlanticCouncil.org. Follow the Hariri Center on Twitter at @ACmideast.


The Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that promotes constructive US leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community in meeting today’s global challenges. For more information, please visit AtlanticCouncil.org and follow us on Twitter @AtlanticCouncil.