Geoffrey C. Blackwell
Geoffrey C. Blackwell
Geoffrey C. Blackwell (Chickasaw) is the Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel at AMERIND Risk, managing multiple departments involving legal affairs, strategic development, and diversification endeavors. He oversees the Finance, Human Resources, Communications, and IT departments. Mr. Blackwell is a nationally recognized expert in Tribal economic development and diversification strategies, and communications infrastructure deployment. He has testified before the United States Congress on six occasions, and met formally with dozens of Tribal Councils throughout the nation.He sits on the Boards of Directors of Native Public Media, and Arizona State University’s American Indian Policy Institute.
Previously, Mr. Blackwell was a senior manager and policy-maker at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He was the founding Chief of the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy from 2010 to 2015. For over eleven years total, over two separate periods that also included 2000 to 2005, he led Tribal affairs the FCC. He advised the entire FCC on matters involving Tribal Nations, guiding the FCC’s activities to incentivize the deployment of broadband and communications technologies across Indian Country. He developed and led annual training and consultation workshops for Tribal Nations and the communications industries. He also helped lead the FCC’s efforts to protect Tribal sacred sites and cultural resources, ensure low income families on Tribal lands have telephone and broadband services, and prioritize radio and television broadcasting media ownership opportunities for Tribal Nations.
Prior to his most recent federal service, Mr. Blackwell worked for five years, from 2005 to 2010, as the Corporate Director of Strategic Relations and Minority Business Development at Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc. (CNI), a business incubation holding company of the Chickasaw Nation. He led efforts to leverage federal programs and private sector funding and partnerships to establish Tribally-owned companies and joint venture opportunities throughout the country. While with CNI, Mr. Blackwell served on the Boards of Directors of Native Public Media, the National Small Business Association, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, and the Acoma Business Enterprises Board of the Pueblo of Acoma.
Mr. Blackwell also chaired the Telecommunications Subcommittee of the National Congress of American Indians, served on the FCC’s Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age, and served as the indigenous representative from the United States on the international Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas.
During his first period of service at the FCC, from 2000 to 2005, Mr. Blackwell was the first enrolled member of a Tribal Nation to work at the FCC. As an FCC Senior Attorney and Liaison to Tribal Governments, he helped author the FCC’s foundational policies with respect to Tribal Nations, including the FCC’s seminal 2000 Tribal Policy Statement. Prior to the FCC, he worked in the Corporate Litigation Department of Hale and Dorr, LLP, (now Wilmer Hale), in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr. Blackwell is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. He is also descended from the Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. Mr. Blackwell is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School Of Law.