Frederic C. Hof is director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He came to the Atlantic Council after a career as a US Army officer, a private sector CEO, and a US Department of State diplomat. He is a Vietnam veteran and much of his professional life has centered on the Middle East. As a military officer he served on the commission that investigated the 1983 bombing of the US Marine Corps headquarters at Beirut International Airport and drafted key parts of the commission’s report. While in the private sector he took a leave of absence in 2001 to serve as chief of staff of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact Finding Commission, headed by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, and was the principal drafter of the Commission’s report. In the US Department of State from 2009 to 2012 he took the lead in an effort to mediate Syrian-Israeli peace and was given the rank of ambassador in his capacity as special advisor to the secretary of state for transition in Syria. Ambassador Hof also oversaw efforts to reconcile conflicting Israeli and Lebanese exclusive economic zone claims. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the Naval Postgraduate School. Ambassador Hof is the author of two works on Middle Eastern boundary issues. Among his military decorations is the Purple Heart.