Rachel Hoff—the International Affairs Expert—Is LI’s Graduate and Faculty of the Week

December 5, 2011 | By Lauren Hart

Rachel Hoff’s passion for politics and international affairs has been a journey in the making, and is certainly quite distinguishable.

A daughter of expatriates, who worked in Japan, Rachel attended Tufts University and then went to work for the American Enterprise Institute, United States Congress, National Republican Congressional Committee, and, now, at the Foreign Policy Initiative as director of government relations & outreach.

“Leadership Institute training was absolutely formative in the early stages of my career,” Rachel said.

“The lessons I learned at LI schools taught me how to
do the leadership positions I held in the Young Republicans as national field director and director of media relations. Working hard at these volunteer positions during my first several years in Washington propelled my professional journey in a way that
focusing solely on my day jobs could never have done,” Rachel said.

Rachel was born in Japan and grew up near Tokyo as
her parents taught at the U.S. military base school.  After high school graduation in Japan, Rachel attended Tufts near Boston, where she majored in political science and philosophy and was an active member of the Tufts College Republicans.

And so began the integration of her international experiences living abroad, her formal political education, and her hands-on political training and experience.

Rachel attended LI’s Youth Leadership School in August 2004, directly before entering her first full-time job in Washington at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

“The YLS I attended in 2004 taught me everything I know about organizing youth politics – how to recruit, organize, and mobilize young people for the conservative cause,” Rachel recalls.

Several months later, Rachel began as the Foreign and Defense Policy Studies research assistant at AEI working on issues in the Middle East, democracy promotion, counterterrorism strategies, and weapons nonproliferation. 

She was at AEI for two years before heading to Capitol Hill to work as a legislative assistant and research analyst in
the U.S. House of Representatives for Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), for whom she focused on foreign affairs and national security issues.

After almost two years on the Hill, Rachel joined the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), where she worked as a media coordinator in the
independent expenditures unit. At the NRCC, Rachel coordinated a $20-million program of TV, radio, and mail advertising in 35 congressional districts around the country. 

A half-year later, Rachel moved to her current role at the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), where she’s been since February 2009.


As the director of government relations and outreach, Rachel is responsible for outreach to Capitol Hill, candidates, media, and like-minded organizations.  She runs all of FPI’s public events, from major conferences to young professionals programs in Washington, D.C. and New York. She also directs the FPI Future Leaders Program, which identifies and cultivates 20 rising foreign policy leaders annually.


When asked about Institute programs, Rachel said, “LI training is conservative boot camp! This training is absolutely necessary for any aspiring young leader on the right.”

A big believer in LI training, Rachel worked with LI staff to bring a Grassroots Communications Workshop to the Young Republicans National Conference in April 2006, where she managed conference logistics.

Rachel has volunteered her time as an LI faculty member since 2009.  Just last month she taught at LI’s Conservative Career Workshop about her experience in Washington. Rachel shared how her career started and how to successfully climb the “ladder” of political careers. It was the fourth Conservative Career Workshop from LI at which she’s spoken.

“LI offers young conservatives a solid grounding in proven, time-tested techniques along with fresh, contemporary approaches across the spectrum of political work, all taught by some of the finest practitioners and operators on the right,” Rachel said.

Please welcome Rachel Hoff as LI’s Graduate and Faculty of the Week.

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.