Sept. 13 UPDATE: The World Affairs Council reports Ambassador Hof has cancelled his planned visit to Monterey because of the military attack on the Libya consulate.
"The tragic events of this week have dictated that he remain in Washington, D.C. to focus on matters related to Syria and the upcoming meetings of the UN General Assembly," a WAC press release states.
"We are very grateful that Ambassador Richard Schmierer will take his place at our luncheon. Ambassador Schmierer is the new Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs…Ambassador Schmierer will address U.S. policy in Syria in an overall regional context. His remarks will focus on current trends throughout the Middle East, developments in regional transitions, and events of this week in Libya."
Frederic Hof, the U.S. State Department’s special advisor on Syria, will speak at Rancho Cañada Monday, Sept. 17, at a luncheon hosted by the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area.
After the WAC luncheon, he’ll present at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (open to the public).
The WAC talk, “U.S. Policy Toward Syria: Moving Past Assad,” will examine the popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the country’s future within an international context.
“He is a seasoned specialist on the Middle East and one of Secretary Clinton’s inner circle when it comes to U.S. policy toward Syria,” writes Judy Sloan, the local WAC program chair, by email. “He is also a very engaging speaker.”
WAC is a D.C.-based, non-partisan nonprofit promoting discourse of international affairs. Last week, the local WAC branch—which had been based at Defense Language Institute offices at the Presidio of Monterey since WAC’s 1951 founding—celebrated the opening of its new office at 479 Pacific Street in Monterey.
The WAC luncheon begins at noon Monday, Sept. 17 and is $25 for WAC members, $35 for non-members; an audit of Hof’s talk is free. Reserve a seat by Sept. 13.
The MIIS event happens Monday, Sept. 17 at 5:30pm, Irvine Auditorium, 499 Pierce St., Monterey. Free.
Hof will also speak at the Defense Language Institute Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 18 (open only to DLI and NPS students).
Hof must be fond of the Monterey Bay area to be back here so soon. He spoke at an event hosted by The Arab American Club of Monterey and the Syrian Arab Council, and also to the local WAC branch, in February.