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Alumni Award Recipient Douglas Allison

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Douglas A. Allison ’85
2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award

Douglas Allison’s security and law enforcement career with the U.S. Department of State has taken him to hot spots all over the world. He was in Europe when the Berlin Wall fell; when the Soviet Union disintegrated, he traveled to all the newly independent “stan” countries; and he was in the Middle East for the buildup to and start of the Gulf War.

During Allison’s career, in which he also provided protection to visiting dignitaries such as Prince Charles and the late Nelson Mandela, he has worked as a special agent in more than 50 countries, including Turkey, Uganda, Morocco and Afghanistan.

Allison, who graduated with degrees in economics and business administration from Bridgewater College in 1985, joined the state department in 1987 after applying for the job advertised in the Washington Post. After intensive federal law enforcement training in Brunswick, Ga., and Washington D.C. – training that is considered the best the U.S. government offers – Allison went to work enforcing laws surrounding passport and visa fraud in the U.S. He has served in a variety of domestic and overseas assignments focused on criminal investigations, dignitary protection, organizational management, and overseas security program management.

Today, Allison is the deputy assistant secretary responsible for high threat posts for the bureau of diplomatic security in the state department. He is responsible for the safety and security of diplomats serving in America’s most threatened embassies and consulates around the world.

Allison has received multiple individual awards from the state department, including several Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, and was named Special Agent of the Year in 2000. He was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Counselor in 2008 and to the rank of Minister Counselor this year.

Allison also is an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Vienna, Va., having served as chair of the Staff Parish Committee and the Administrative Committee. He also is a volunteer with the congregation’s children and youth programs, and serves as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America.

A native of Warrenton, Va., Allison attended the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Va. and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C., and he received a master’s degree in international commerce and public policy from George Mason University in 2001. He and his wife, Clara, have one son, Jasper, who is 14 years old and “a future BC Eagle,” Allison says.