Brian Hook

Brian H. Hook is an American lawyer and government official. He served as U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from September 2018 to August 2020.[1] He previously served as the Director of Policy Planning under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Brian Hook
Brian H. Hook.jpg
United States Special Representative for Iran
In office
September 1, 2018 – August 6, 2020
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byStephen Mull (Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation)
Succeeded byElliott Abrams
Director of Policy Planning
In office
February 17, 2017 – September 1, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byJonathan Finer
Succeeded byKiron Skinner
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
In office
October 7, 2008 – January 20, 2009
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byKristen Silverberg
Succeeded byEsther Brimmer
Personal details
Born1968 (age 52–53)
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of St. Thomas (BA)
Boston College (MA)
University of Iowa (JD)

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 to 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.[2]

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 to 2011.[citation needed]

In 2013, he co-founded the John Hay Initiative,[3] 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 Saint John's Seminary in Boston and the board of directors for the National Civic Art Society in Washington, DC.[4]

In November 2019, Hook was the subject of controversy when an internal State Department report claimed he mishandled an employment issue with department official Sahar Nowrouzzadeh. Nowrouzzadeh had been the subject of a 2017 article in the right-wing Conservative Review which falsely claimed she was born in Iran and made disparaging remarks against her. The article was reportedly passed around the State Department, including to President Trump. Nowrouzzadeh reported the issue to Hook, but the internal report stated he did not take proper action.[5][6]

On August 6, 2020, Hook announced his resignation from the United States Department of State. Hook was succeeded in the position of Special Representative by Elliott Abrams.[7] He continued to work with Jared Kushner and the White House on the Middle East peace agreements known as the Abraham Accords.

See also


  1. ^ "Brian Hook Biography". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 2017-05-27. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  2. ^ "Brian Hook Joins BGS Board of Advisors". Beacon Global Strategies, LLC. December 21, 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  3. ^ O'Connor, Patrick (2015-09-27). "John Hay Group Seeks to Shape Candidates' Foreign-Policy Positions - Washington Wire - WSJ". Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  4. ^ "Leadership". National Civic Art Society. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  5. ^ Jakes, Lara (November 14, 2019). "State Dept. Career Employee Was Targeted as 'Loyalist' to Democrats, Inquiry Shows (Published 2019)". The New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  6. ^ Finnegan, Connor; Siegel, Benjamin (March 15, 2018). "House Democrats say administration is pushing out State Dept. staffers not loyal to Trump". ABC News. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  7. ^ Sanger, David E.; Crowley, Michael (2020-08-06). "Iran Envoy Brian Hook, a 'Survivor' on Trump's Team, to Quit". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-08-06.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Kristen Silverberg
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
October 3, 2008 – January 20, 2009
Succeeded by
Esther Brimmer