Board: Abraham D. Sofaer

Abraham D. Sofaer

The Honorable Abraham D. Sofaer is the George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has served as federal district judge in New York (197985) and as Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State (198590).

Previously, he was a professor of law at Columbia University, where he focused on separation-of-powers issues in the American system of government. He has also served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and was a clerk to Judge J. Skelly Wright on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., and to The Honorable William J. Brennan Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Currently, he concentrates on issues related to terrorism, international law, diplomacy, and national security.

Mr. Sofaer has written many articles and books on terrorism, the Middle East peace process, and the use of force in international affairs. As a professor at Columbia University, he wrote “War, Foreign Affairs & Constitutional Power: The Origins,” describing the first forty years of practice of the constitutional powers of Congress and the President to control or affect the use of force. As an administrative judge in New York State, he presided over the first major environmental action involving PCBs. After leaving the Department of State, he practiced law at Hughes, Hubbard and Reed in Washington, D.C. As U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York, he handled several high-profile cases, including the libel action against Time magazine by then Israeli general and later Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University. Mr. Sofaer served for many years as President of the American Friends of the Koret Israel Economic Development Funds and is a founding trustee and Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He serves on several corporate and charitable boards. He teaches periodically as an Adjunct at the Stanford Law School, including a course in U.S. Arbitration. He serves as an arbitrator and mediator in commercial cases, both in the U.S. and abroad.