Born into a Foreign Service family, he attended St. Alban’s School in Washington, D.C.; St. Paul’s in Concord, N.H.; Princeton; and Wellington College, Berkshire, U.K.
At Princeton he majored in English (selecting the English-French option), joined Colonial Club, sang in the Glee Club, and participated in the Advisee Project, crew, and rugby.
After three years in the Marines, he attended the Institute of Political Studies of the University of Paris and embarked on 40 years in the Foreign Service. He served in Cameroon, Rome, Paris, and numerous other posts in the State and Defense departments, in arms control, on burden-sharing among our allies, and as ambassador to Portugal from 1982 to 1985. He received several presidential and Department of Defense awards for distinguished service. His favorite assignments were as assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict and, in retirement, as adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
In recognition of his leadership both during and after his time in the Foreign Service, and his caring work with students at Georgetown University, he was awarded the Foreign Service Cup from DACOR, Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired.
Allen was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Marilyn. He is survived by son Gerald Allen, daughter Katherine Anne, and three grandchildren.