Naming a former high-level military official may be an attempt by the board to send a message that discipline is needed to help "clear the swamp."
Here is more from a Brookings press release:
The Brookings Institution announced today that John R. Allen, a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, will become the eighth leader in the Institution’s 101-year history.
Allen currently serves as a Brookings distinguished fellow in the Foreign Policy program and as chair, Security and Strategy. On November 6, he will succeed Strobe Talbott, who will step down as president after more than 15 years of service.
Strobe Talbott will remain at Brookings as a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program.
Brookings has been searching for a new president ever since Talbott announced his intent to resign back in January.
At that time, a search committee to find a replacement, reporting to the Board of Trustees, was formed.
And no, NBC News's Jonathan Allen is not the new Brookings president.
John Hudson of BuzzFeed notes that there was an internal push for Martin Indyk to become president, but Allen won out.
Think Tank Watch has noticed that very few in the media covered the news, which may indicate a lack of attention being paid to many major think tanks these days (particularly ones that are out of favor by the current White House).