Page 35: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2014)

U.S. Coast Guard Annual

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Jan. 16, 1949, in Los Angeles; grew up in Tucson, Ariz.


Graduated 1971 from the Coast Guard Academy, an insti- tution Sen. John McCain joked was one that “some might say he foolishly chose over an appointment to the Naval

Academy.” (Allen’s father was a Chief Damage Control man in the Coast Guard.) Two advanced degrees: Masters in Public Administration, George Washington University, 1986; and Masters of Science in Management at MIT’s

Sloan School, 1989.

Coast Guard Career

Held a variety of posts ranging from ship master to com- mander of various USCG regional and coastal groups, to posts in the offi ce of acquisitions, offi ce of programs, and offi ce of chief of staff, eventually becoming chief of staff to the commandant.

Critical Operational Missions

Command of the Coast Guard’s Atlantic forces in its re- sponse to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by securing ports on the eastern seaboard. Appointed Principal Fed- eral Offi cer for Hurricane Katrina and Rita recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast region in 2005. Commandant of team leading response to Haiti earthquake in January 2010. Al- len was also the commandant leading the response Ap- pointed National Incident Commander for the Deepwater

Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 while still commandant of the USCG. He continued in that role after his retirement from the Coast Guard.

Homeland Security

Worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security, advancing much-needed operations and management co- ordination principles. Recognized as a leader in homeland security strategy, with particular emphasis on achieving in- teragency unity of effort in the complex, multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional homeland security and law enforce- ment mission environment. Chairman of the DHS Joint Re- quirements Council from 2003 to 2006.


A four-star admiral, he became the 23rd Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 25th, 2006, where he was known both as “the Face of the Coast Guard” and as a forward thinking leader who led a major effort to update the Coast Guard’s command and logistics organizations and address future maritime challenges. As commandant,

Allen oversaw a mix of 90,000 active-duty military, civilian staffers, reservists and volunteer auxiliaries.

Retired: In May 2010, after 38 years with the Coast Guard.

Post retirement, continued to serve as the National Inci- dent Commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a member of the Senior Executive Service within DHS.

Military Decorations

Two Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medals; the Legion of Merit, which is awarded by the U.S. Armed forces for ex- ceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of out- standing services and achievements; the Defense Distin- guished Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals and two Coast

Guard Achievement Medals.

Civilian Awards

Among his many personal awards, Admiral Allen was the fi rst recipient of the Homeland Security Distinguished Ser- vice Medal, of which he has two; Organized Crime Drug En- forcement Task Force National Award, Operation Panama

Express, 2001, and was named to Time magazine’s 2010

Person of the Year issue’s list of “People Who Mattered.”

Boards and Organizations

Allen serves as a Presidential appointee on the NSF’s Blue

Ribbon panel on Antarctica, as a Director at the Partner- ship for Public Service and the CG Foundation, and at the

U.S. Naval Institute, 1974-Present. He was on the Board of

Trustees, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 1996-1999.

Current post

Joined Booz-Allen Hamilton in November 2011 as Senior

Vice President leading “thought leadership” on law en- forcement and homeland security strategy. Allen previously joined RAND Corp. as a senior fellow in Oct. 2010, where he focused on myriad of disaster response, maritime safe- ty and homeland security issues.

Noteable Quote “The modernization and strategic transformation the Coast

Guard is undertaking is about looking into the future and repositioning the Service to best serve the Nation far into the 21st Century.”

Management mantras: “You have to lead from everywhere” (Harvard Business Review, Nov. 2010) Anatomy of a Leader

Thad William Allen

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