Blake's appointment at the BAU was met with some mixed reactions as the team was close to Prentiss. Blake joined the BAU to restore her reputation after Blake was blamed for arresting the wrong suspect in the Amerithrax case and Section Chief Erin Strauss let her take the fall. As a result, she and Strauss do not get along, with Strauss accusing her of joining for selfish reasons, but they eventually make amends. The rest of the team recognize her expertise and are generally less antagonistic towards her.
Blake graduated from Berkeley with a double major and also holds a PhD. She was recruited to the FBI at the age of 24, making her one of at least two team members to join the Bureau in their early 20s along with Spencer Reid. (She is not a genius like Reid though.) Blake is also a professor of forensic linguistics at Georgetown, where Reid had previously guest lectured, and an SSA in the Washington field office. During her initial time at the FBI, Blake was involved in some high-profile cases, particularly the Unabomber case. Blake understands American Sign Language. In the Season nine episode "Bully", it is revealed that Blake is estranged from her father Damon (a retired police captain of the Kansas City Police Department) and younger brother Scott (a current homicide detective there himself); after the death of her older brother Danny (a cop killed in the line of duty) and her mother, she found it too painful to be near her father and brother, and distanced herself from them. However, after Scott is injured by the UnSub, the two siblings start to reconnect, and by the end of the episode, she reconciles with both Scott and Damon when she and the rest of the BAU team have a barbecue at her father's home.