Hoffman, Francis G.

Distinguished Research Fellow, Center for Strategic Research

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Areas of Expertise:  Defense Policy; Future Strategic Concepts; Military Strategy; National Security Reform

Dr. Francis G. Hoffman came to INSS in June 2011, and was initially Director of NDU Press.  Prior to that, he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and was Deputy Director, Office of Program Appraisal in the Department of the Navy (Aug. 2009- June 2011).

Dr. Hoffman was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1978.  From 1978-1983, after graduating both the Basic School and Infantry Officer Course, he served in a variety of line and staff positions in the Second and Third Marine Divisions.  He was a Company Commander and Head Tactics Instructor at the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune in 1980-1982.

From 1983 to 1986, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps and served as a Resource Analyst.  He transferred to civilian service, continuing at HQMC until 1991 as a defense analyst.  From 1991-1998, he served at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico VA as a national security analyst.  He represented the Marine Corps on the Defense Science Board and the Commission on Roles and Missions in 1995.  Dr. Hoffman was then the Special Assistant to the Commanding General for national security affairs and the Director of the Marine Strategic Studies Group for two years.  In 1999 Frank was appointed by the Secretary of Defense to the staff of the U.S. National Security Commission for the 21st Century where he developed the commission’s recommendations for the Department of Homeland Security that it proposed.

He served as a Research Fellow at the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities at the Marine Warfighting Lab from 2001 to 2008.   He was responsible for conducting assessments on future threats.  He worked with Joint Forces Command, Allied Command Transformation, and British, Australian and Israeli partners on alternative futures and wargames and experimentation activities.  While at Quantico, Dr. Hoffman conducted studies on future threats, developed Service and Joint concepts, and was a member of Strategic Vision Group which wrote the Marine Corps’ Vision and Strategy 2025.  He was also a chapter author for the Army/Marine Corps counterinsurgency doctrine, FM 3-24.

He served on the 2004 Defense Science Board for Post-Conflict Stability Operations and lectured extensively at PME institutions in Japan, Taiwan, Austria, Denmark, Israel and the United Kingdom.   He has authored a book (Decisive Force; The New American Way of War, 1996), ten book chapters, and 100 essays and articles in foreign policy and academic journals.

Dr. Hoffman graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (BS, Econ., 1978) and holds graduate degrees from George Mason University (MEd, 1992) and the Naval War College, (M.A., Security Studies, 1994).  He also earned a PhD from King’s College London from the War Studies Department.

Recent Research and Publications

  • Mars Adapting, Learning During Wartime, U.S. Naval Institute Press (forthcoming).
  • "Defense Policy and Strategy," in R.D. Hooker, Jr., Charting a Course, Washington, D.C: National Defense University Press, 2016. 

Book Chapters, Articles and Studies