The Honorable Robert Blake
ROBERT O. BLAKE, JR. is senior director for McLarty Associates and leads their Southeast Asia practice. He served for 31 years in the State Department in a wide range of leadership positions. From 2013 to 2016, he served as US ambassador to Indonesia, where he focused on building stronger business and educational ties between the United States and Indonesia while also developing cooperation to help Indonesia reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama as assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia. He served until 2013 and was awarded the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award. From 2006 to 2009, he served as US ambassador concurrently to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Previously, he served as deputy chief of mission (DCM) from 2003 to 2006 in India, where he was named the worldwide DCM of the Year by the State Department. Prior to that, Blake held a wide variety of key State Department positions, including executive assistant to the under secretary for political affairs from 2001 to 2003, deputy executive secretary for the Department of State from 2000 to 2001, and senior desk officer responsible for economic and political relations with Turkey from 1998 to 2000. He also served in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria. Blake is currently chairman of the board of the US-Indonesia Society, a member of the boards of the Asia Foundation and the Bhutan Foundation, and a member of the Global Leadership Councils of the World Resources Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council. He holds a BA from Harvard College and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.