Fellows
Fellows
national medal of science
nobel prize
national humanities medal
american academy of arts and sciences
presidential medal of freedom
Abraham D. Sofaer
Abraham D. Sofaer
george p. shultz senior fellow in foreign policy and national security affairs
member, task force on energy policy
member, arctic security initiative
member, working group on foreign policy and grand strategy

Expertise: International law and diplomacy, international relations, national security affairs, separation of powers, government regulation, international terrorism

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Recent Commentary

February 26, 2014 | New York Times

Hurt Iran's Hawks, Not Its People

December 6, 2013 | Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)

The Cost of Foreign Intervention

Op-ed archive

Links

Sofaer papers in the Hoover Archives

Awards and Honors

U.S. Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Medal (1988)

Related Publications

The Best Defense?: Legitimacy and Preventive Force

Taking On Iran: Strength, Diplomacy and the Iranian Threat

Abraham D. Sofaer was appointed the first George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution in 1994. Named in honor of former US secretary of state George P. Shultz, the appointment is awarded to a senior scholar whose broad vision, knowledge, and skill will be brought to bear on the problems presented by a radically transformed global environment.

Sofaer's work focuses on the power over war within the US government and on issues related to international law, terrorism, diplomacy, and national security. His most recent books are Taking on Iran: Strength, Diplomacy, and the Iranian Threat (Hoover Institution Press, 2013) and The Best Defense?: Legitimacy and Preventive Force (Hoover Institution Press, 2010).

From 1985 to 1990, he served as a legal adviser to the US Department of State, where he resolved several interstate matters, including the dispute between Egypt and Israel over Taba, the claim against Iraq for its attack on the USS Stark, and the claims against Chile for the assassination of Orlando Letelier. He received the Distinguished Service Award in 1989, the highest state department award given to a non–civil servant.

From 1979 to 1985, Sofaer served as a US district judge in the Southern District of New York. From 1969 to 1979, he was a professor of law at Columbia University School of Law and wrote War, Foreign Affairs, and Constitutional Power: The Origins. From 1967 to 1969, he was an assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York, after clerking for Judge J. Skelly Wright on the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, and the Honorable William J. Brennan Jr. on the US Supreme Court. He practiced law at Hughes, Hubbard and Reed from 1990 to 1994.

A veteran of the US Air Force, Sofaer received an LLB degree from New York University School of Law in 1965, where he was editor in chief of the law review. He holds a BA in history from Yeshiva College (1962). Sofaer is a founding trustee of the National Museum of Jazz in Harlem and a member of the board of the Koret Foundation.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

Last updated on July 3, 2013