The Honorable Robert O. Blake, Jr., a career Foreign Service officer, is the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs. From 2006 to mid-2009, he served as ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives. He was the deputy chief of the U.S. Mission in New Delhi, India, from 2003 to 2006, and has held a number of key positions at the State Department in Washington, D.C., including senior desk officer for Turkey, deputy executive secretary and executive assistant to the under secretary of state for political affairs. Ambassador Blake entered the Foreign Service in 1985 and has served at the American embassies in Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. He earned a master's degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 1984 and a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1980.