Colonel Elizabeth F. Allen New DIILS Director

Posted on: 9/29/2023

Colonel Elizabeth F. Allen, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Army, assumed the directorship of the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) September 29, 2023 at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, in a ceremony officiated by Dr. Celeste Gventer, Defense Security Cooperation University President. Colonel Allen is the 14th Director of DIILS.

In her new role, COL Allen will oversee the diverse categories of education and training conducted by DIILS with and in support of our allies and partners. The DIILS Security Cooperation portfolio includes dozens of legal Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) advising efforts designed to assist Partner Nation security institutions build and oversee effective and responsible security capabilities.

DIILS hosts nine distinct Resident Courses annually at the DIILS Education Center in Newport to enhance the education of Partner military officers and officials on legal aspects of shared security challenges. DIILS also provides congressionally mandated Rule of Law training seminars for Partner units receiving U.S. training and equipment.

Prior to joining DIILS, COL Allen held a range of operational law and special operations-focused legal roles that uniquely suit her to lead the DIILS Security Cooperation mission. Most recently, COL Allen served as the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA), Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), committed to the enduring defeat of Da’esh in Iraq and Syria. She has also served as the SJA, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS) – U.S. Army Special Operations Center of Excellence (SOCoE), and as the Chief of Operational Law for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Altogether, COL Allen has served in four joint commands and recently completed her sixth deployment, including multiple deployments in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

COL Allen holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations from Bucknell University; a Master of Arts (MA) in International Relations from Syracuse University; a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law; a Master of Laws in Military Law (Operational Law Concentration) from The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center & School; and a MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. COL Allen's awards include the Combat Action Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Legion of Merit (C device, bronze oak leaf), Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (silver oak leaf), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and various other awards, campaign ribbons, and unit devices.

For more than 30 years, DIILS has been the lead U.S. Department of Defense Security Cooperation resource for global legal engagement with Partner Nation security sector institutions and personnel. As a component of the Defense Security Cooperation University (DSCU) under the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), DIILS’ broad mission is to advance U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by building the capacity of foreign security forces to respond to shared security challenges in a responsible, accountable, and legally compliant manner. Since its inception in 1992, DIILS has engaged with more than 79,000 international participants from more than 183 countries.

Dr. Gventer and the DSCU and DIILS staffs welcome COL Allen to the team and wish her good fortune during her tenure as the DIILS Director!

News item #60203