Fr. Allan was born in London and, after studies at Oxford University, he joined the Dominican Order in 1973. After studies in philosophy and theology, he completed a Ph.D. in sixteenth century history at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
His time in the Order has been mostly spent in university ministry and teaching in Oxford, Cambridge, London and Edinburgh, as well as in administration. He served as senior chaplain at the University of Edinburgh and was associate chaplain at Oxford before being invited to senior chaplaincy at the University of Cambridge.
He was elected Prior Provincial of the English Dominican Friars in 2000 and served in that capacity for eight years before going to Rome as an assistant to the Master of the Dominican Order. Fr. Allan came to the United States in 2011 and was asked to accept the post as director of the Catholic Center at NYU. He is happy to be returning to pastoral ministry with university students and looks forward to making his home among students once again.