Adonis Hoffman is an attorney, advisory counsel and media expert based in Washington, DC. His work focuses on corporate advisory, public policy, regulatory, communications, mergers, corporate responsibility, and global matters. He has been a trusted advisor to countries, corporations, capital markets, Congress and consumers throughout his career and helps companies to overcome challenges with the press, policymakers, and the consuming public.
Hoffman was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and claims African-American, Native American and Creole ancestry. His family moved to central Los Angeles, California in the early 1960s, where he attended public elementary school and Loyola Jesuit High School, competing in football and track. He received a scholarship to Princeton University, and studied politics and philosophy, earning an A.B. degree in 1976. He returned to California to work briefly with Bank of America, and later with members of the California Legislature and the California Lieutenant Governor.
Early Career on Capitol Hill
Hoffman moved to Washington DC in 1980 to work as legislative director for newly-elected U.S. Representative Mervyn M. Dymally (D-CA), focusing on foreign affairs and international trade. He traveled throughout Asia and the Middle East as a member of Congressional staff delegations, and was selected co-chair of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) delegation to Japan to meet with Diet Members on international trade and defense.
Advising Foreign Governments
After four years on Capitol Hill, Hoffman was recruited to work as a lobbyist, account executive and communications counselor by Robert Keith Gray, the chairman of the first Ronald Reagan Inaugural Committee, and founder of Gray and Company Public Communications International. Gray & Company was the premier lobbying and public relations firm in Washington during the 1980s, representing Fortune corporations and several foreign governments, including Japan, Korea, Turkey, Haiti, Cayman Islands and Saudi Arabia. Hoffman worked with numerous clients as a lobbyist and communications advisor.
Private Law Practice
In 1986, Hoffman, completed legal studies at Georgetown University Law Center, earning a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in corporate and international law. He became a managing director at Capitol Exchange Corporation in Washington and New York, and later joined the Washington office of Hopkins & Sutter, a national law firm, focusing on legislative and regulatory matters, in addition to international trade and corporate transactions.
Foreign Policy and International Affairs
In 1991, Hoffman returned to Capitol Hill to serve as Subcommittee Staff Director and Committee Counsel at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, focusing on Africa, the Middle East and economic policy and trade. During his tenure on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Hoffman traveled to 38 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In 1993, Hoffman returned to Capitol Exchange Corporation, and later was appointed senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. At Carnegie, Hoffman emerged as a recognized media commentator on international law and foreign policy, appearing regularly on CNN, FOX, NBC and Canadian television. He led several delegations of lawyers, judges, and journalists to observe elections in Nigeria, and other developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and became an advisor to developing countries on constitutional reform and democracy development. Hoffman subsequently was appointed senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and a Distinguished Visitor at the New School in New York. He published regularly in The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and Foreign Policy.
International Telecom and the FCC Act 1
In 1998, Mr. Hoffman was appointed to the position of international communications counsel by FCC Chairman Bill Kennard, to assist on global telecom policy. Hoffman was a member of the FCC team which provided technical assistance to developing countries in a new initiative to help those countries build independent and transparent regulatory regimes during a wave of privatization and market liberalization.
Broadband and Cable
In 1999, Hoffman moved to the FCC's Cable Television Bureau to serve as the Deputy Bureau Chief. There, he was responsible for co-managing over 100 attorneys, economists, engineers, and support staff, and assisting the Bureau's regulatory review of several large cable and broadband mergers, including ATT - Media One, and AOL-Time Warner.
Representing Madison Avenue and the Advertising Industry
In 2000, Mr. Hoffman was appointed senior vice president and counsel at the American Association of Advertising Agencies ("the 4As"), which is the national trade association for the advertising agency and media buying industry. As the chief in-house attorney for nearly 450 member agencies, Hoffman provided legal, legislative and regulatory counsel on a wide range of issues affecting the advertising industry, and appeared before the U.S. Congress, Federal Trade Commission, FCC and federal courts. Hoffman was highly involved in the advertising and marketing industry's self-regulatory initiatives, including food marketing and advertising to children, data privacy, diversity, and direct marketing reforms. He later established the American Business Leadership Institute and was selected to serve on the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), and the First Amendment Advisory Council of The Media Institute.
Academic Appointment -- Georgetown University
In 2008, Adonis Hoffman received an appointment to the faculty of Georgetown University, serving as an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Arts & Science in the Communication, Culture & Technology (CCT) Program. Hoffman designed and teaches graduate courses on "Marketing, Advertising & Public Policy"; "Corporate Communications"; and "Corporate Responsibility and Technology".
From 2013 to April 2015, Mr. Hoffman served as chief of staff and senior legal advisor to FCC Commissioner and Acting Chairman, Mignon Clyburn. Hoffman worked with the Commissioner and senior staff on major communications policy matters, including the Open Internet / Net Neutrality ruling; media ownership rules; broadcast and wireless spectrum; incentive auctions; privacy enforcement; consumer protection; the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)m and several mega mergers in the media, broadband and broadcast sectors, including Comcast-Time Warner Cable, and AT&T - DirecTV,
Business in the Public Interest and Corporate Advisory Counsel
Upon leaving the FCC in April 2015, Mr. Hoffman founded Business in the Public Interest, a strategic research, analysis and advisory organization focused on restoring the public trust in business, and advancing corporate responsibility on matters of public policy. Mr. Hoffman also resumed his role as advisory counsel to boards, directors, business leaders, trade associations, private equity, institutional investors, and international organizations on corporate, policy and regulatory affairs, mergers, strategic alliances and communications, and corporate responsibility.
Throughout his career, Hoffman has been a noted commentator and thought leader on communications, media and public policy. He is a contributor to The Hill, and has published articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Broadcasting & Cable, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and has appeared on ABC, CNN, FOX, NBC, and National Public Radio (NPR) as a guest expert. Hoffman is the author of Diversity--How to Do it Right: A Handbook for Today's Business Leaders; Doing Good--the New Rules of Corporate Responsibility, Conscience and Character, and The Almighty's Dollar--What the Bible Says About Money, Wealth, Success and Prosperity.
Education and Admission to the Bar
Adonis Hoffman received an A.B. from Princeton University (1976) and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (1986). He is admitted to practice law before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Supreme Court; the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; the U.S. Bankruptcy Court; the U.S. Court of International Trade, and the United States Supreme Court.
Adonis and his amazing wife Karla Ellison Hoffman have been married for 25 years. Together they have a son, A.D., who is a graduate of Georgetown University and a daughter, Amani, who is a graduate of Villanova University.
Contact and Further Information
202-695-2454 | firstname.lastname@example.org
L-R, former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell; Media Institute President Patrick Maines; FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai; former FCC Chairman Dick Wiley; President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Pat Harrison; CEO of Nexstar Broadcasting, Perry Sook, and Adonis Hoffman celebrate Freedom of Speech in 2016.
Adonis Hoffman discusses corporate reform, governance, corporate responsibility and rules for independent directors with former Senator Chris Dodd (D- CT), principal co-author of the historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Legislation.
Mr. Hoffman is a frequent commentator in the news media and a favorite speaker at national
conferences focusing on communications, finance, business and public policy.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Jessica Rosenwercel, Ajit Pai, and Mike O'Rielly salute Adonis Hoffman at the March 2015 Open Meeting of the Federal Communications Commission.
Adonis Hoffman served in the U.S. House of Representatives as Counsel to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Africa. One of the high points of his service was the opportunity to meet and discuss politics, economics and policy with Bishop Desmond Tutu in Capetown, and the Honorable Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg in 1991, prior to Mandela's election as President of South Africa.