Haken was born in Nigeria and raised in Switzerland, Mexico, and Cameroon. After college he was a newspaper reporter in Illinois, a television producer in Washington DC, a cook in the Caribbean, homeless in Texas, and a hitchhiker in Mexico (where he was repeatedly told by truck drivers that his Spanish is very poor). Nate disagrees. He feels that his Spanish is excellent. He has published haiku, articles, chapters, and one book. His haiku was once published by a Buddhist temple in Japan. His fiction was once translated into French for an anthology. He now has three children and works on conflict assessment and early warning projects in Africa. His rock and roll band is called Bub.
Ungoverned Spaces is a memoir he co-wrote with his friend Ben Drinen.