Summary. Adonis Hoffman is an attorney, advisory counsel, independent corporate director and thought leader based in Washington, DC. As head of The Advisory Counsel, LLC, his work focuses on corporate advisory, public policy, regulatory, communications, mergers, shareholder activism and social impact matters. He has been a trusted advisor to countries, corporations, investors, industry CEOs, Congress, trade associations and community organizations throughout his career, helping companies to overcome thorny challenges in business, law, media and policy.
Origins. Hoffman was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and proudly embraces his African American, Creole and Cajun heritage. At a young age, his family relocated to central Los Angeles, California. He attended public elementary school and Loyola Jesuit High School, where he competed in track, football and debate. Hoffman was the first member of his family to attend college, receiving an academic scholarship to Princeton University where he studied politics, philosophy and Afro-American Studies, earning an A.B. degree in 1976. After Princeton, he began his career with Bank of America, Los Angeles and later with the Lieutenant Governor and Legislature of California.
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, economic policy and international trade. He traveled throughout Asia and the Middle East as a member of Congressional and staff delegations, and was selected co-chair of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) delegation to Japan to discuss trade and defense with Japanese Diet Members.
Advising Foreign Governments. Following four years on Capitol Hill, Hoffman joined Gray & Company Public Communications International, as a lobbyist, account executive and communications counselor. The company, founded by Robert Keith Gray, chairman of the first Ronald Reagan Inaugural Committee was the premier lobbying and public relations firm in Washington, DC , advising Fortune corporations and foreign governments, including Japan, Korea, Turkey, Haiti, Saudi Arabia and the Cayman Islands among others.
Private Law Practice. In 1986, Hoffman, completed legal studies at Georgetown University Law Center, earning a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) concentrating in corporate and international law. He worked as managing director for Capitol Exchange Corporation in Washington and New York and later joined the Washington office of Hopkins & Sutter (Hamel & Park), a national law firm, focusing on legislative, regulatory procedure, in addition to litigation, 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 Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In 1993, Hoffman returned to Capitol Exchange Corporation, and the next year 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 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman William Kennard to assist on global telecom policy. He was a member of the FCC team which provided technical assistance to developing countries in a new initiative to help those countries build independent regimes.
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 AT&T - Media One and AOL-Time Warner. He was appointed co-chairman of the FCC Inter-Agency Task Force on Advertising Practices.
Representing Madison Avenue and the Advertising Industry. After service at the FCC, in 2000 Mr. Hoffman was appointed senior vice president and counsel at the American Association of Advertising Agencies ("the 4As"), 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 taught graduate courses on "Marketing, Advertising & Public Policy"; "Corporate Communications"; and "Corporate Responsibility and Technology".
FCC Act 2 - Chief of Staff and Senior Legal Advisor to the Commissioner From 2013 to 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) 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 became chairman of 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.
Education and Bar Admission. 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 Supreme Court of the United States.
Honors. In 2016, Adonis Hoffman was honored by his alma mater, Loyola High School of Los Angeles, with the Cahalan Award, given to distinguished LHS alumni. See Video
Family Matters Adonis and his amazing wife Karla Ellison Hoffman, J.D., have been married for 32 years. Together, they are the proud parents of two adult children who have careers in business and medicine, respectively.
Adonis Hoffman, Esq.
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