Published January 19, 2015

Commencement speaker

Gen. John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy, to give address at May 17 ceremony
  • Gen. John R. Allen (USMC, Ret.)

Gen. John R. Allen (USMC, Ret.), Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, will deliver the address at Monmouth College’s 158th Commencement Exercises on May 17.

Gen. Allen’s career has included a rich variety of important commands and senior appointments.  He served as commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan from July 2011 to February 2013, and as commanding general, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, in Iraq from 2006 to 2008, leading efforts to secure the Al Anbar Province.  He has also held a variety of staff positions, including service as the principal director of Asia/Pacific policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Following his retirement from the Marine Corps, Gen. Allen was appointed as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense on Mideast Security.  In that role he led the security dialogue of the Middle East peace process. Later he was named a Distinguished Fellow of Foreign Policy, and co-director of the Brookings Institution’s Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, a position from which he is on leave while serving as Special Presidential Envoy.

Gen. Allen’s commitment to education is reflected in his own background and in his service. He received a bachelor of science in operations analysis from the U.S. Naval Academy, a master’s degree in national security studies from Georgetown University, a master of science in strategic intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College, and a master of science in national security strategy from the National Defense University. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from the National Intelligence University.  Gen. Allen has led most of the Marine Corps’ educational and training programs, including serving as commandant of midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, the only Marine Corps officer to do so.

In announcing Gen. Allen as the Commencement speaker, Monmouth College President Clarence R. Wyatt said, “We are honored to have a person of Gen. John Allen’s intellect, integrity, and commitment to public service as our Commencement speaker. As a student of U.S. foreign policy, I have long known of Gen. Allen’s service, especially of his deep belief in the power of teaching and learning. He shares our commitment to preparing young people for lives of learning, leadership, and service, and I am sure that he will provide a powerful message to our graduating seniors and to our entire community.”

In accepting the invitation to speak, Gen. Allen said, “It is indeed my great honor and sincere privilege to do this. I have taken some time to study your wonderful institution, and your faculty and staff are to be congratulated for all that they have accomplished on behalf of the students and the Monmouth community. I look forward with great anticipation to my visit.”

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