Charles Lake received a bachelor's degree in Asian studies and political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1985 and a juris doctor degree from the George Washington University School of Law in 1990. He joined Aflac International in February 1999 and Aflac Japan in June 1999. He became deputy president in 2001, president in 2003, vice chairman in 2005, and chairman in 2008. In 2014, he also assumed the position of president, Aflac International. Before joining Aflac, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. He also served as director of Japan affairs and special counsel at the office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President.
He currently serves as a director on the board of the Japan Exchange Group, Inc.; the Peterson Institute for International Economics; the Coalition of Service Industries; and the U.S.-Japan Business Council. He is also president emeritus of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ).