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Geoffrey Blackwell (Global Indigenous Ambassador Program) is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. He is enrolled in the following tribes: Muscogee (Creek);also of Chickasaw, Choctaw, Omaha descent. He works at AMERIND Risk Management Corporation as Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel. AMERIND is a private Tribal governmental entity risk pool management corporation. As Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel, Mr. Blackwell oversees the Finance, IT, Human Resources, and Communications Departments, as well as AMERIND’s newest entity, AMERIND Critical Infrastructure. It is a department that helps tribal nations acquire broadband services. Also directs legal affairs and strategic development efforts. Mr. Blackwell is regarded as a national expert in tribal economic and corporate development, and tribal communications technologies deployment. In these areas, he has testified before the United States Congress on six occasions, from both the tribal and federal perspectives. He worked with hundreds of tribal leaders and councils nationwide. He participates very actively on national policy development and advocacy on the broadband needs and uses of tribal nations.
In his career, while twice working at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and in-between, while serving organizations like the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and Native Public Media (NPM), Mr. Blackwell has been involved in virtually every major piece of US FCC federal tribal broadband policy and regulatory development. This includes the FCC’s seminal 2000 Tribal Policy Statement, broadband subsidy programs, wireless spectrum regulation and buildout incentives, broadcast radio licensing tribal priorities, and tower siting regulations to preserve tribal sacred sites.
Mr. Blackwell’s current positions include:
Chair of the Board, NPM
Co-Chair, Technology & Telecommunications Subcommittee, NCAI
Co-Chair, Economic, Finance & Community Development Committee, NCAI
Vice Chair, Board of Advisors, Arizona State University’s American Indian Policy Institute
His work prior to joining AMERIND included:
Chief, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, FCC, July 2010-October 2015, Washington DC
As the Office’s founding Chief, helped the FCC establish ONAP to guide efforts incentivizing deployment of broadband technologies across Indian Country
Helped craft broadband deployment regulations and internet policies Carried out numerous FCC-Tribal Nation trainings and consultations
Corporate Director, Strategic Relations and Minority Business Development, Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc. (CNI), (tribal business incubation company), October 2005-July 2010, Washington, DC
Helped establish diverse tribal companies and ventures using federal programs and private sector partnerships
Performed legal, financial, due diligence, and operations programs
Senior Attorney and FCC Liaison to Tribal Governments, FCC, Washington DC, January 2000-October 2005
As the first enrolled member to ever work at the FCC, helped establish the early Indian Tribal Telecommunications Initiatives of 2000 and beyond
Special Contract Attorney, Litigation Department, Hale and Dorr, LLP, (now Wilmer Hale), Boston, MA, 1996-2000
His former Board service included:
International Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas (served as Commissioner from the USA)
FCC’s Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age
US National Small Business Association
US National Federation of Community Broadcasters
Acoma Business Enterprises of the Pueblo of Acoma
Enrolled member: Muscogee (Creek) Nation; also of Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Omaha heritage
Raised in New Mexico and Oklahoma
Graduated from Dartmouth College; University of Virginia School of Law
Undergraduate credits earned: University of Lyon, France
Mr. Blackwell has been called a "Cyber Warrior". He spent the majority of his career, either in primary employment or in Board or volunteer service, working with other indigenous leaders at the grassroots and national level on the broadband technology needs of tribal governments and citizens. These experiences include working with and on behalf of American Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, members of tribal communities, and residents of the Native Hawaiian Home Lands.
Mr. Blackwell chairs the Board of Directors of Native Public Media. NPM is an At-Large Structure under NARALO. NPM works across the nation to support the priorities of both radio broadcast and broadband based media outlets in American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages. NPM is also driving force and trusted voice in many tribal communities in the USA on broadband deployment and usage. Mr. Blackwell also works closely with tribal broadcasters who wish to move to broadband platforms and technologies.
Mr. Blackwell has started the AMERIND Critical Infrastructure. Now he also oversees a company that keeps him involved in grassroots planning, architecture, due diligence, finance, and operations planning with tribal governments, schools, libraries, IT departments, and broadband technology companies.
In addition, in the arena of academia and policy research, Mr. Blackwell is actively involved as an officer of the Arizona State University American Indian Policy Institute, which is actively engaged in a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the state of broadband deployment and usage in Tribal communities nationwide. The policy research capabilities and mission of ASU/AIPI are somewhat unique in the field of academia research and analysis.
Mr. Blackwell first learned of ICANN in 2000 when he first became involved at the FCC with tribal broadband needs. With the Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas, formed after WSIS II in Tunis, he was involved in an effort in the Americas to support indigenous broadband priorities and needs that could not sustain momentum.
Source: Global Indigenous Ambassador Program Application, http://nativepublicmedia.org/team/geoffrey-c-blackwell/