Executive Director Collaborating for Resilience
INTERNATIONAL PARTNER REPRESENTATIVE, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ratner is an executive leader focused on bridging traditional divides to spur dialogue and collective action addressing challenges of resilience and environmental sustainability. His expertise includes organizational leadership, strategy, and program development; natural resource policy and governance; and cross-sectoral partnerships to drive institutional innovation and systems change from local to regional scales.
As founder and Executive Director of Collaborating for Resilience, Blake leads an entrepreneurial nonprofit focused on systems change initiatives at the intersection of environmental sustainability, social justice, and economic empowerment. He launched a partnership with the International Land Coalition to build capacity of facilitators leading platforms bridging civil society, state, and private sector actors, to strengthen land rights for poor and indigenous resource users, now spanning 28 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This builds on a decade of experience innovating and testing approaches to multi-stakeholder dialogue used by communities, industry, local authorities and government regulators to negotiate institutional innovations under conditions of intense resource competition. He is a key architect of a 10-year global program on inclusive natural resource governance, linking policy analysis and dialogue on forests, water, agricultural land, and fisheries as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets.
As member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, Blake advises on GEF strategy in the areas of ocean governance, freshwater systems, environmental security, programmatic risk and innovation, and multi-stakeholder dialogue for systems transformation. Blake has authored over 65 publications addressing social equity, ethics, resource conflict and the role of multi-stakeholder dialogue in environmental governance. His writing and public speaking is marked by a consistent focus on practical strategies to navigate the complex demands of social-ecological resilience, drawing on insights from action research to inform both policy and practice.
As Director General of WorldFish, Blake led diverse teams of scientists, business analysts, and social entrepreneurs working to secure livelihoods and strengthen food and nutrition security for millions of small-scale producers, processors, traders and poor consumers in South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. Within the CGIAR, Blake championed system-wide integration to address emerging challenges of environmental security and innovation in regional and global food systems, targeting greater collective impact by linking technical capabilities across multiple food production sectors, value chains and agroecosystems. Prior to assuming the chief executive role, Blake spearheaded an integrated research agenda, co-led organizational strategy development, and launched a new regional program for the Greater Mekong.
Blake’s leadership combines scientific expertise and a commitment to organizational learning. He holds both a Ph.D. in environmental sociology and professional Master’s in development administration from Cornell University, and has cultivated executive leadership skills through specialized programs with Cambridge University, Stanford University, Hay/McBer, and the Society for Organizational Learning. He has 24 years postdoctoral experience, including early posts with the World Resources Institute, where he managed a regional program focused on mountains, forests, and watershed governance, and the World Bank, where he worked to distill lessons on stakeholder collaboration in lending programs and policy advisory services.
A dedicated advocate of intercultural understanding as a foundation for organizational performance and partnerships, Blake was based in Southeast Asia for 13 years cumulatively (Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand), in addition to work periods based in the US, Guatemala and the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Other countries where he has directly led program implementation include China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia. Blake’s working languages are English, French and Spanish. He has also conducted research in spoken Khmer (Cambodian) and Arabic.