General John R. Allen is the Co-Director of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. He is a retired four-star general who served as the Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and the Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013. He is the first Marine in history to command a theater of war. Concluding a 38 year career in the spring of 2013, General Allen was immediately asked to serve as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense on Middle East Security. In September, 2014, he was appointed by President Obama to be the Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL a position he held for 14 months. In that role, General Allen formed the 65 member Global Coalition. He has affiliations with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the Atlantic Council, and Council on Foreign Relations.