Dick Hoffmann

Photo of Dick Hoffmann
Defense Research Analyst; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ed.D., University of Southern California; M.A. in military science, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; B.S. in physics, U.S. Naval Academy

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Dick Hoffmann is a defense research analyst at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research covers human performance in extreme environments, joint special operations and counter-terrorism strategy, intelligence collection planning and processing, defense acquisition capabilities assessments and cost-effectiveness analysis, operational measures of performance and effectiveness, and joint-combined-interagency command, control, and coordination. He recently completed a case study of OEF-Philippines; an assessment of intelligence collection in the Horn of Africa; and a deployment to Afghanistan, where he provided analytical support for the Special Operations Component Commander.

Hoffmann retired in 2007 from the Navy after 20 years of service as a SEAL officer. He was the director of education at the Naval Special Warfare Center in San Diego, where he managed the curriculum for more than 50 courses in joint special operations tactics, techniques, and procedures. He also taught mission planning, ethics, and tactical leadership. Of note, he deployed to Iraq in 2003 and Africa in 2004 to assess and improve special operations planning, targeting, and combat operations. Hoffmann also served as a counterterrorism plans officer at the Special Operations Command, Pacific in Hawaii. He taught at the Naval Academy, served as a platoon commander at SEAL Team THREE, and as an assistant platoon commander at SEAL Team FIVE. He has worked in Australia and in countries throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, including the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Independent Director, USA Boxing Board of Directors

Previous Positions

Navy SEAL Officer (Ret.); Director of Education, Naval Special Warfare Center, NAB Coronado; counterterrorism plans officer at the Special Operations Command, Pacific.

Recent Projects

  • Special Operations Strategic Concepts Development
  • Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency Measures of Effectiveness
  • Special Operations Mobility Requirements and Cost-Effectiveness
  • Irregular Warfare Intelligence Technology and Methods
  • Homeland security threat analysis

Recent Media Appearances

Commentary: San Diego Union-Tribune


  • Shi'ite fighters, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against the Islamic State, take part in field training in the province of Najaf, September 16, 2014

    War Is Not the Word

    Iraq, not the United States, is at war with ISIS. This distinction is important because it helps everyone understand each country's role.

    Sep 18, 2014 | U.S. News & World Report

  • Colonel Cardinal's Iceberg Theory

    As we continue to pour invaluable resources into our sixth year in Iraq, and the U.S. public and politicians wonder what we should do next, now may be a good time to revisit the overarching theory of our campaign plan in the Pacific: Colonel Cardinal's Iceberg Theory, writes Dick Hoffmann.

    Jul 29, 2008 | The San Diego Union-Tribune