Closing Keynote Speaker Biography - Admiral Thad W. Allen (USCG Ret)
Admiral Thad W. Allen assumed the duties of the 23rd Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 25th, 2006. Admiral Allen is a native of Tucson, Arizona and graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1971.
Admiral Allen previously served as the Coast Guard Chief of Staff and Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Headquarters, in Washington, D.C., from May 2002 to April 2006. He also served as the Chairman of the Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Requirements Council from 2003 to 2006. In September 2005, Admiral Allen was designated the Principal Federal Official for Hurricane Katrina response and recovery operations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He additionally served as Principal Federal Official for Hurricane Rita response and recovery activities in Louisiana.
Prior to his assignment as Chief of Staff, Admiral Allen served as Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Fifth Coast Guard District, and U.S. Maritime Defense Zone Atlantic in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he was the operational commander for all Coast Guard activities in an area of responsibility spanning five Coast Guard Districts, encompassing more than 14 million square miles and involving 26,000 military and civilian employees, and 27,900 Auxiliarists. Admiral Allen led the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area forces in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
In his other flag assignments, Admiral Allen commanded the Seventh Coast Guard District where he directed Coast Guard operations in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and throughout the Caribbean. He has also been assigned as the Coast Guard’s Director of Resources at Coast Guard Headquarters, where he was responsible for formulating the Coast Guard’s budget, developing long range plans and managing the Coast Guard’s performance plan.
A specialist in operations both in the coastal and offshore environments, Admiral Allen has served aboard three Coast Guard cutters: the Androscoggin, Gallatin and Citrus, which he commanded. His coastal command operational assignments include Captain of the Port/Group Long Island Sound, Connecticut; Group Atlantic City, New Jersey and LORAN Station Lampang, Thailand. Admiral Allen’s other assignments included a tour as search and rescue controller in the Greater Antilles Section, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Intelligence Watch Officer at DEA/INS El Paso Intelligence Center, El Paso, Texas; Chief Budget Officer, Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, Governors Island, New York; Deputy Project Manager, Fleet Modernization and Rehabilitation (FRAM) Project; and Assistant Division Chief, Programs Division, Office of the Chief of Staff at Coast Guard Headquarters.
On April 30, 2010, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that Allen would serve as the National Incident Commander for the federal government's response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Admiral Allen holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the George Washington University and received the Alumni Achievement Award in 2006. He also holds a Master of Science degree from the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2003, Admiral Allen was elected a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow.
On June 30, 2010, Admiral Thad Allen officially retired from the U.S. Coast Guard. He continued to serve as the Deepwater Horizon National Incident Commander until October 1, when that position was disestablished. Later that month, Allen joined the RAND Corporation as a senior fellow. On November 28, 2011, Booz Allen Hamilton named Admiral Allen a Senior Vice President. Allen joined the firm’s Justice and Homeland Security business and will lead development of thought leadership and client engagement regarding the direction of law enforcement and homeland security. Admiral Allen is married to his wife, Pamela of Champaign, Illinois. Together they have three grown children, Amanda, Meghan and Lucas and two grandsons.