Great Decisions with Ambassador Robert Blake Jr. | Understanding Indonesia


Boston Public Library, Rabb Hall

700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Boston, MA, US, 02116

Join WorldBoston for a timely Great Decisions program on Understanding Indonesia featuring former Ambassador Robert Blake Jr.

Despite its large size, Indonesia remains virtually invisible to most Americans. But as one of the world’s largest democracies, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, and as an economic driver of ASEAN, why does it fly below the radar? What are current issues in U.S.-Indonesian relations, and what role can the country play in Asia?

Join us for a timely discussion of this topic with former Ambassador Robert Blake Jr. This program will feature an expert presentation, live audience Q&A, and time for networking and discussion with other globally-oriented participants in the Newsfeed Café.

This program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.

The program will be live-streamed to Zoom from 6:00-7:00 PM. To attend virtually, please register here.

Ambassador Blake served for 31 years in the State Department in a wide range of leadership positions. From 2013 to 2016, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, where he focused on building stronger business and educational ties between the U.S. and Indonesia. In this role, he worked with the CEOs of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers to develop a major sustainable palm oil initiative to reduce Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions. He also served as Senior Advisor to Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to help conclude a Just Energy Transition Partnership with Indonesia in 2022. In 2009, he was nominated by President Obama to be Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, serving from 2009 to 2013, for which he was awarded the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award. From 2006 to 2009, he served concurrently as U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in India from 2003 to 2006, where he was named the worldwide DCM of the Year by the State Department.

Ambassador Blake held a wide variety of key State Department positions as well, 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 has also served in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria.

He is currently Chairman of the Board of the U.S.-Indonesia Society, is a member of the board of the Asia Foundation, and serves on the Global Leadership Council of the World Resources Institute and the National Committee of the World Wildlife Fund.

Ambassador Blake holds a BA from Harvard College, and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.

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