Officially In: Ambassador Robert Blake to the SCA Bureau

Map from the State Department/SCA Bureau

As has been rumored for weeks, President Obama announced yesterday his intention to nominate Robert O. Blake for Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs (SCA).

Ambassador Blake is a career Foreign Service Officer. He entered the Foreign Service in 1985. He has served at the American Embassies in Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. He also has held a number of positions at the State Department in Washington. Most recently Ambassador Blake served as U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and to the Republic of Maldives. Before that, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission in New Delhi, India from 2003 to 2006. Ambassador Blake earned a B.A. from Harvard College in 1980 and an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 1984.

In February 2007, BBC News reported that Ambassador Blake and Italian Ambassador Pio Mariani were hit after getting off a helicopter at an air base in Batticaloa, where they were to attend a development meeting. Mr. Mariani received hospital treatment for head wounds. Mr Blake had minor injuries and flew back to Colombo. Soon after the incident, Sri Lankan air force planes bombed suspected Tamil Tiger positions in the east of the country. The long running conflict has been on since 1983.

Ambassador Blake is married to Sofia Blake. He is also the son of of
Robert O. Blake, retired U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (Mali). There had been other multi-generational families in the State Department (e.g. John Adams and son, then grandson) but not many who served as ambassadors and not in recent memory (this detail of diplomatic history has not been updated in a while I think).

Related Item:
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 2-24-09