Member Spotlight Series: Rachel Hoff

Being the nation's capital, DCYR is lucky to attract some of the most talented YRs in the country. Each month, you will learn more about our fellow members through the Member Spotlight Series.

Rachel Hoff has been a DCYR member since 2006. She's previously served on the DCYR Board as National Committeewoman and on the Young Republican National Federation board as Campaign Committee Chair, National Field Director, Director of Media Relations, and YRLC Chair. You may also recognize her from the 2016 Republican National Convention, where she served as the first openly gay member of the Republican Platform Committee and proposed more inclusive language that would recognize the diversity of opinion within the party. While her efforts were ultimately not successful, she garnered much attention for the growing number of Republicans who support LGBT rights.

Vice Chair of Membership, Joy Lee, conducted this interview:

JL: Alright, let's get the basic DC questions out of the way. What do you do and where are you from?
RH: I’m the Director of Defense Analysis at the American Action Forum. I moved to DC in 2004 and have worked on national security issues at a few other center-right think tanks as well as on Capitol Hill. I was born and raised on a U.S. military base in Japan, but DC is home now. We just bought a house in Brightwood, so now I’m in it for the long haul!

JL: What made you become a Republican?
RH: Growing up on a military base overseas was mostly a politics-free environment, so I didn’t really even know what a Republican was. I learned I was a Republican in high school – after a debate in government class, my teacher told me he thought I might be a Republican. I went home, dialed up the internet, and asked Jeeves what a Republican was. When I read about the party’s principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise, it sounded like what I believed – so I was in!

JL: What's the one thing that makes you most proud to be a Republican?
RH: What makes me most proud of our party are the people in it. And I’m not talking about the leadership or the folks at the top, it’s the regular Republicans I’ve had the pleasure to meet, largely through YRs – people who have strong beliefs, sound reasoning, and good hearts. Especially in DCYRs, I’m constantly meeting people from all around the country who come to DC because they want to make a difference for whatever they believe in. People come here because they want to change the world, and they genuinely believe they can – I love that.

JL: Finally, if you could have a beer with any member of the Cabinet, who would it be and why?
RH: I think Rick Perry would be the most fun to have a beer with (I’m a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars) but I’d choose Rex Tillerson. As someone who works on foreign policy issues, obviously his job at State is inherently interesting to me. But it also seems like he’s been relatively low profile for a cabinet member, and I am genuinely interested in knowing more about his worldview.

Thank you, Rachel, for sharing a little bit about yourself!