Bruce Hoffman

Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security

About the Expert

Expert Bio

Bruce Hoffman is Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis senior fellow for counterterrorism and homeland security at the Council on Foreign Relations and has been studying terrorism and insurgency for four decades.  He is a tenured professor in Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where until recently he was the director of both the Center for Security Studies and of the Security Studies program. In addition, Hoffman is visiting professor of terrorism studies at St Andrews University, Scotland.  He previously held the corporate chair in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and was also director of RAND’s Washington, DC, office as well as vice president for external affairs.

Appointed by the U.S. Congress to serve as a commissioner on the Independent Commission to Review the FBI’s Post-9/11 Response to Terrorism and Radicalization (“9/11 Review Commission”), Hoffman was a lead author of the commission’s final report. He was scholar-in-residence for counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency between 2004 and 2006; an adviser on counterterrorism to the Office of National Security Affairs, Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq in 2004, and from 2004-2005 an adviser on counterinsurgency to the Strategy, Plans, and Analysis office at Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad. Hoffman was also an adviser to the Iraq Study Group and a member of the U.S. Congress-directed review of the curriculum, organization, and staffing of the U.S. National Intelligence University.

He was a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford University between September and December 2009. Hoffman was also a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, from January to July 2010, a distinguished scholar at the Wilson Center in 2012, and, since 2013, a Global Wilson Fellow. He was also a visiting professor at Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore, where he was the S. Rajaratnam Professor of Strategic Studies for 2009 and Hoffman was the William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellow and Visiting Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College in 2016.

Hoffman was the founding director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where he was also reader in international relations and chairman of the department of international relations.  He is editor-in-chief of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, the leading scholarly journal in the field. Hoffman is a contributing editor to The National Interest and also editor of the Columbia University Press Series on Terrorism and Irregular Warfare.

He holds degrees in government, history, and international relations and received his doctorate from Oxford University.  In November 1994, the Director of Central Intelligence awarded Hoffman the United States Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, the highest level of commendation given to a non-government employee, which recognizes sustained superior performance of high value that distinctly benefits the interests and national security of the United States. 

A revised and updated edition of his acclaimed book, Inside Terrorism, which has now been in print for two decades, was published in September 2017 by Columbia University Press in the U.S. and will be published in 2019 by Fischer Verlag in Germany.  Foreign language editions of the first edition have been published in ten countries.  His other recent books include The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama bin Laden’s Death (Columbia Univ. Press, 2014), and Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 (Knopf, 2015), which was awarded the Washington Institute for Near East Studies’ Gold Medal for the best book on Middle Eastern politics, history and society published in 2015 and also named The Jewish Book of the Year for 2015 by the Jewish National Book Council.


Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy, senior fellow
Georgetown University, professor
International Institute for Counterterrorism, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel, visiting professor
National September 11 Memorial & Museum, adviser
St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, visiting professor
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, editor-in-chief
The National Interest, contributing editor
The Jamestown Foundation, board member