Sir Mark Allen, CMG, is one of Britain's preeminent Arabists. Sir Mark served in British Foreign Service for 30 years and lived for many years in the Middle East. During his service he developed a keen appreciation of the nuances of Middle Eastern culture and politics. Since retiring from public service, Sir Mark has worked as a special advisor for BP and as a Senior Advisor to the Monitor Group, a global consulting and private equity firm. Sir Mark studied Arabic at Oxford, where he is now a Senior Associate member of St. Antony's College. He was inducted into the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 2002 and knighted in 2005.