Geoffrey Blackwell

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Organization: AMERIND Risk
Affiliation: ALAC
Region: North America
Country: USA

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 in 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 training 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

Personal Information:

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 the 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 academic 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,