As a director of strategic operations, R. Brian Blake manages three of The Heritage Foundation’s key initiatives: Energy & Environment; Education; and Enterprise & Free Markets. His work includes crafting long- and short-term strategy, developing and overseeing related budgets, setting goals and tracking progress.
Blake joined Heritage in April 2010, bringing more than a decade of work in the nation’s capital on national and international policy issues in the public and private sectors.
Blake previously managed General Electric’s corporate public affairs strategy on defense and energy issues from the company’s offices in Washington, D.C. He helped develop public relations road maps for GE’s many businesses, among them aviation, oil and gas, water, nuclear and coal. He also managed GE’s presenting sponsorship of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration.
Before that, Blake served for eight years in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during President George W. Bush’s two terms. He held the posts of deputy press secretary for the office, special assistant to the director and, for his last four years there, deputy chief of staff.
Blake’s broad knowledge of national drug policy includes prevention, treatment and international interdiction. Under the leadership of U.S. drug czar John Walters, he was instrumental in developing innovative approaches to reducing the demand for drugs among the young and getting more drug abusers into treatment.
Initiatives and programs during the Bush administration such as Access to Recovery (ATR); Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT); and random student drug testing contributed to a reduction of 25 percent in teen drug use from 2001 to 2008 -- the lowest level since the early 1990s.
Blake led the White House’s efforts to combat steroid use in amateur and professional sports, representing the United States at anti-doping meetings around the world. He served on the finance committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency and was a U.S. representative during drafting sessions for the United Nations’ International Convention Against Doping in Sport.
Blake received a master of arts degree in communication from the University of Maryland. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Brigham Young University, where he was a University Writing Fellow and officer in the campus chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.
A native of San Jose, Calif., and avid outdoorsman, Blake serves as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 1103. He currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, Rebecca, and their four children.