Gen. John R. Allen Joins SparkCognition’s Board of Directors

General John Allen

General John Allen

SparkCognition announced June 21 the appointment of Gen. John R. Allen (USMC Ret.), former commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), deputy commander of US CENTCOM and most recently Special Envoy to the President, to the company’s Board of Directors.

Gen. Allen currently serves as a Senior Fellow and the Co-Director of Brooking’s Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence.

“Gen. Allen brings gravitas, experience and tremendous leadership acumen to SparkCognition,” SparkCognition Founder and CEO Amir Husain said. “As President Obama eloquently noted, Gen. Allen is one of our nation’s most respected and experienced military experts. He has served our country with distinction for almost 40 years and understands how critical AI and related advanced technologies are for securing our nation’s cyber and physical assets. Gen. Allen is not only one of our most brilliant wartime military commanders, he is also a statesman and scholar with immense policy experience. This makes him one of a handful of global leaders with a profound understanding of the growing cyber-physical challenges the world faces. He brings a unique commitment to enabling us to find solutions we need to address those challenges in the national interest. We could not be more honored to have him on our Board and look forward to working closely with Gen. Allen to build and deploy an Artificial Intelligence capability second to none.”

Gen. Allen, a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star General and past Deputy Commander of U.S. Central Command, previously served as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). President Barack Obama appointed Gen. Allen as Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, where he led the complex assignment of building — from conception — a robust international coalition that would undertake a wide range of political, diplomatic, military, economic and other efforts to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.

“Joining SparkCognition’s Board of Directors opens the next chapter in my life-long commitment to ensuring our country’s security and defense,” Gen. Allen said. “I look forward to working with SparkCognition’s Founder and CEO, Amir Husain, and my fellow Board Members. Amir is an inspirational leader who is a true innovator and recognized technologist. His contributions have already made important advances in AI technology in an astoundingly short period of time. SparkCognition’s impressive team is driving innovation in a field that is vital to our national security. Today, our country faces a great many challenges, but perhaps none as significant as the rapidly evolving cyber threats that compromise our nation’s critical infrastructure. SparkCognition is deploying next generation cognitive technology that is necessary to address these realities, and I consider their work a national asset.”

“Gen. Allen is one of the finest military leaders and strategists of our generation,” SparkCognition’s Board of Directors Chairman Manoj Saxena said. “He has served our country with distinction and is a thought leader on defense and security issues through his work at the Brookings Institute. We are honored to welcome him to our Board, and I look forward to working alongside a national hero.”


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