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James Blake  

Journalist, Analyst & Advisor

James M. Blake is a journalist, analyst and advisor with over a decade of experience at the intersection of international security, humanitarian crises, and refugee and migration issues. He has advised leadership of international organizations including the International Monetary Fund, the International Rescue Committee, and several world leaders through the Mayors Migration Council.

James has experience working with specialized research firms, geopolitical consultancies, strategic communications and advisory firms to design innovative risk assessment tools, resilience training and preparedness plans for companies operating in fragile and conflict-affected states. He has written risk assessments on terrorism and geopolitical issues for some of the world’s largest companies, which includes working with Aon Insurance on evaluating terrorism and political violence risks and mitigation efforts.

James regularly publishes articles and investigative work for outlets such as Foreign Policy, Jane's Intelligence Review, and the New Humanitarian, among others. He is designated as a global expert by Duco, the global consultancy, and is a member of the International Crisis Group’s Ambassador Council.

In February 2020, James alerted the international community to the humanitarian and human rights crisis as a result of the US migration policies in Central America through research, interviews and analysis across Central America, including in Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. His recent investigations in the region focus on human rights issues, fentanyl smuggling into the US and criminal gangs.

Speech Topics

The coming migration and refugee crisis - and how the US and global cities must lead the efforts to prepare for it

How the intelligence agencies and homeland security apparatus must respond to the rise of extreme right-wing terrorism

Mexican cartels and how to solve the fentanyl crisis in the US based on my time in Mexico investigating the issue

How the leading companies and NGOs prepare and respond to international crises

Disinformation and the risk to the US elections - and how to combat it

Tails from responding to COVID-19 in conflict zones across the Middle East

Protecting human rights in a world in turmoil


Explosion in Beirut Article: James Blake
World Mental Health Day

We do not talk about it. But we are in a mental health crisis. The impact of COVID-19, widespread unemployment among the young and old and failing businesses have all exacerbated a silent but powerful health issue.

It is only almost fifteen years into my career that I realized my mental health struggle began when I was young. I just did not understand what the symptoms meant and how they impacted me: crippling anxiety, a lack of self-confidence and a blurry view of the world surrounding me must be a me problem I thought. Stiff upper lip, I persevered and few if any noticed anything abnormal.

Still, despite this, I was encouraged to push myself and reached the workplace earlier than many — perhaps with hindsight too early, at the tender age of 21. It was a train-wreck. I was not prepared.

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