Ann Blake, Ph.D

I grew up in South East Asia, the child of two academic social scientists. In high school I coded survey questionnaires for my mother’s sociology Ph.D.  thesis on the social impacts of multinational electronics manufacturers hiring young women from rural villages in Malaysia and Thailand, and moving them to bigger cities.

My father was a labor economist; both of my parents also worked for the United Nations Economic And Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) in Bangkok, Thailand. I therefore came to an early understanding of what later became the key pieces of sustainability: Economics and Equity, and added my own interest in the Environment aspect.

After graduating as the valedictorian of my high school class at the International School in Bangkok, Thailand, I went to Mount Holyoke College, graduating with a major in biology. I was one of the earliest MHC science majors to spend her junior year abroad (1983) studying not science, but Chinese and Chinese history as part of Duke University’s Study in China Program.

From MHC I went on to graduate work in the molecular genetics of Drosophila eye development at the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon in Eugene. While in Eugene, I volunteered as a science journalist for KLCC, the local National Public Radio affiliate.

I’ve lived in Alameda, California since 1993 with my husband and  cats. We are avid foodies and love to cook with locally-sourced and sustainably produced ingredients. I am also a musician, a long-time choral singer in many genres, including classical, jazz and barbershop. After several years pursuing individual musical study in vocal technique, vocal improvisation, composition and performance, I’m now having a blast playing bass.