International Advisory Board

John Allen

John Allen

Former Commander U.S. Forces in Afghanistan and NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Washington, D.C.

General John R. Allen, USMC (Ret.) was appointed Special Presidential Envoy for Coalition to Counter ISIL in September 2014. He departed active military service on 1 April 2013. Prior to that, General Allen served for 19 months as the commander of United States Forces in Afghanistan and the commander of the fifty-nation NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, a combined force of over 150,000 troops. He is the first U.S. Marine Corps General Officer to command a theatre of war and is the longest serving commander in Afghanistan. Prior to his appointment as Commander, ISAF, he served for three years as Deputy Commander of the US Central Command. While Deputy Commanding General, Multinational Force – West, in Iraq, he was a key figure in the emergence of the Anbar Awakening movement (Sahawa al Anbar) which fundamentally changed the course of the war. General Allen has extensive command and staff experience in war, peace and crisis, having served in contingency operations in the Caribbean in 1994, in Bosnia in 1995, in Iraq in 2006-2008 and in Afghanistan from 2011-2013. General Allen is a 1976 graduate of the Naval Academy and holds several advanced degrees, including from Georgetown University. He is an active, permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Co-Director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence of Brookings Institution.