Dr. Allan was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and graduated from the University of Strathclyde as a Naval Architect. He started his career in the shipbuilding industry and joined the United Kingdom Department for Transport in 1971 as a surveyor of ships where he began working both at the national and international level at IMO. Dr. Allan was appointed as Chief Surveyor in 1987 and Director of the U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency in 1994.

In 1994, Dr. Allan played a leading role as a member of IMO’s Panel of Experts established to review the safety of passenger ferries after the Estonia disaster and he was elected Chairman of the Sub-committee on Stability, Load Lines and on Fishing Vessel Safety (SLF) in 1995. Under his chairmanship, the SLF sub-committee completed many important issues, including the revision of the 1988 Load Lines Protocol, the consolidation of the harmonization of damage stability requirements in the International Convention for the Safety of life at Sea (SOLAS).

Meanwhile, he was appointed the United Kingdom’s first Permanent Representative to the IMO in 1998. After being unanimously elected chairman of the Maritime Safety Committee in 1999, he led the Committee until the end of 2005, using his negotiating skills and ability to inspire co-operation and consensus between nations, resulting in the adoption of many amendments and new regulations. Dr Allan was awarded the IMO Maritime Prize for 2005 and the USCG Distinguished Public Service Award in 2006.

He is currently Chairman of the Lloyd’s Register Technical Committee, Chairman of the International Association of Classification societies (IACS) Appeal Board, Chairman of the Cruise Ship Safety Forum, a member of the Royal Caribbean Cruise lines safety Advisory Board and continues to sit on various International Maritime Committees.

He has been a Member of the Scientific Council of the “Maria Tsakos” Foundation since 2012.

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