WASHINGTON — The Brookings Institution has named a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan as the think tank’s next president.
John R. Allen replaces Strobe Talbott, who steps down after more than 15 years with the nonpartisan, public policy-based think tank. He will remain with the organization as a senior foreign policy fellow.
Allen currently holds the Brookings chair of security and strategy and is a distinguished fellow in residence. During his 38-year military career, he was a senior adviser on Middle East security to the secretary of defense, helping lead security dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli authorities. Between July 2011 and February 2013, he commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. He recently served as a presidential envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group.
Notably, the retired officer notably moved Afghan National Security Forces into a combat operations leadership role and helped transition NATO forces from conventional combat forces to an advisory command unit.
Talbott said in a news release that Allen “has impressed those with whom he worked with his expertise, initiative, collegiality and collaboration. He has been a boon to our Foreign Policy program, bringing his experience, intellect, and high standards to our scholarship. He is a superb choice to lead Brookings into its second century.”
Allen added in the release that “Brookings is home to some of the brightest minds addressing the most pressing issues we face today, including economic and domestic challenges, as well as foreign policy and national security matters, and I am looking forward to working with them to advance the mission of the Brookings Institution.”
Allen is a 1976 military honors graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy and holds master’s degrees in national security studies, strategic intelligence and national security strategy.