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Brian Hook

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Brian Hook
Brian H. Hook.jpg
United States Special Representative for Iran
Assumed office
September 1, 2018
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Stephen Mull (Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation)
Director of Policy Planning
In office
February 17, 2017 – September 1, 2018
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Jonathan Finer
Succeeded by Kiron Skinner
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
In office
October 7, 2008 – January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Kristen Silverberg
Succeeded by Esther Brimmer
Personal details
Born 1968 (age 50–51)
Political party Republican
Education University of St. Thomas, Minnesota (BA)
Boston College (MA)
University of Iowa (JD)

Brian H. Hook is an American lawyer and government official. As of 2019, he serves as U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.[1] He previously served as the Director of Policy Planning under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

During the George W. Bush administration, Hook served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs; Senior Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Special Assistant to the President for Policy in the White House Chief of Staff’s office; and as Counsel, Office of Legal Policy, at the U.S. Justice Department.

Hook practiced corporate law at Hogan & Hartson in Washington from 1999-2003. He has also worked for Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and U.S. Congressman Jim Leach.


Hook received a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of St. Thomas in 1990, a master's degree in philosophy from Boston College, and a law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.


Hook is the founder of Latitude, LLC, an international consulting firm based in Washington, DC. He serves on the advisory board of Beacon Global Strategies.[citation needed]

Hook worked on the 2012 Romney campaign staff as senior advisor on foreign policy. He chaired the foreign policy and national security task forces of the Romney Readiness Project. He was the foreign policy director of Governor Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign from 2010-2011.[citation needed]

In 2013, he co-founded the John Hay Initiative,[2] an anti-isolationist group intended to inform political leaders about foreign policy.

In 2018 Pompeo set up the Iran Action Group to coordinate and run U.S. policy toward Iran with Hook as its head.

Hook serves on the board of trustees for St. John's Seminary in Boston and the board of directors for the National Civic Art Society in Washington, DC.[citation needed]


Hook has been involved in a controversy regarding alleged mistreatment of state department employees that was ultimately investigated by Office of the Inspector General of the Department of State. Under federal human resources regulations, career employees at the State Department must be evaluated and managed on the basis of merit. Discrimination based on ethnicity, religion or perceived political beliefs is prohibited. (Political appointees, however, may be selected for their views regarding administration policy.) When one of Hook's employees who had been inaccurately attacked in a conservative news outlet, Hook refused to help her clear up the inaccurate information and instead removed her from her role. The OIG noted that Hook had sent an email to himself commenting on various career employees with labels such as “leaker,” “troublemaker,” and “turncoat.” While Ulrich Brechbuhl, Counselor of the United States Department of State, disputed the report’s findings related to the employee's mistreatment, stating that Hook acted appropriately in creating his own team, the OIG concluded that the career employee had been unfairly targeted by Trump administration appointees, and recommended that the State Department should discipline staff members and officials who violated non-discrimination policies. In response, Brechbuhl noted that there is now a department requirement for all political appointees to receive instruction related to required personnel policies and practices. In the meantime a separate department, United States Office of Special Counsel, with jurisdiction over personnel matters throughout the executive branch, is undertaking its own review of the situation in question.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Brian Hook Biography". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 2017-05-27. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  2. ^ O'Connor, Patrick (2015-09-27). "John Hay Group Seeks to Shape Candidates' Foreign-Policy Positions - Washington Wire - WSJ". Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  3. ^ The Wall Street Journal, "Career Staffer Was Targeted at State Department for Perceived Political Beliefs," September 14, 2019 [1]

External links

  • Hook, Brian H. (2014-10-21). "Brian Hook: The U.N. Agency That Bungled Ebola - WSJ". Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  • Labash, Matt (2015-06-08). "Hawks of a Feather". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  • "Lexington: Defending America". The Economist. 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  • Josh Rogin (2014-08-28). "Romney Foreign Policy Team Is Schooling 2016's Republicans". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  • "The Romney national security transition team that might have been". Foreign Policy. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  • "President Bush Bids U.N. Farewell". NPR. 2008-09-23. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
Government offices
Preceded by
Kristen Silverberg
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
October 3, 2008 – January 20, 2009
Succeeded by
Esther Brimmer
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