Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council; Former U.S. Special Advisor on Transition in Syria
Ambassador Frederic C. Hof is director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East in Washington, DC. He served as special adviser for transition in Syria to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012.
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 U.S. 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 U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and was the lead drafter of the Committee's 2001 report. In 1983, as a U.S. Army officer, he helped draft the "Long Commission" report, which investigated the October 1983 bombing of the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 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.