John Allen became president of Brookings in November 2017. Allen is a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. In the latter role, Allen commanded 150,000 U.S. and NATO forced in Afghanistan from 2011-2013. Before retiring from public service, Allen served for 15 months as senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense on Middle East Security, as well as President Barack Obama’s special presidential envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. During his nearly four-decade military career, Allen served in a variety of command and staff positions in the Marine Corps and the Joint Force, including for three years as the principal director of Asia-Pacific policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He holds a B.S. in operations analysis from the U.S. Naval Academy, an M.A. in national security studies from Georgetown University, an M.S. in strategic intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College, and an M.S. in national security strategy from the National Defense University.