AMERIND Risk announces Geoffrey C. Blackwell as new Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel. AMERIND Risk, a continuous supporter of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), is sponsoring the NCAI’s 72nd Annual Convention and Marketplace, which wraps up tomorrow, October 23, 2015, at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego. The AMERIND Executive team, Derek Valdo, Dennis McCann and Geoffrey C. Blackwell have been at NCAI all week.
AMERIND Risk is very pleased to announce Geoffrey C. Blackwell, of Washington, D.C., as its new Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel. Blackwell will oversee AMERIND’s Finance, Information Technology, and Human Resources departments, as well as direct AMERIND’s legal efforts and strategic development and diversification endeavors.
Previously, Blackwell was a senior policy maker and Office Chief at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He established the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy and, for over five years, directed FCC activities to incentivize the deployment of broadband and communications technologies across Indian country. Blackwell also led 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. Regarding these efforts, Blackwell has testified before Congress on five occasions, and before dozens of tribal councils.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Geoff to AMERIND,” said Valdo, CEO of AMERIND, “as his voice is recognized and trusted throughout Indian country.” Valdo added, “AMERIND is upping its game, and Geoff carries knowledge and experience important to tribes when it comes to the building and diversifying of tribal businesses, the impacts of federal policies on our communities, and the economic opportunities carried by new technologies.”
Prior to his most recent federal service, Blackwell worked for five years as the Director of Strategic Relations and Minority Business Development at Chickasaw Nation Industries (CNI), Inc., where he oversaw diversification among many companies owned by the Chickasaw Nation. While with CNI, 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. Blackwell also chaired the Telecommunications Subcommittee of the National Congress of American Indians, and served as the indigenous representative from the United States on the international Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas.
Prior to his work with CNI, Blackwell worked his first tour of duty with the FCC, where, as a Senior Attorney and Liaison to tribal governments, he helped write the FCC’s foundational policies with respect to tribal nations, including the FCC’s seminal 2000 Tribal Policy Statement. He was the first enrolled tribal member to ever work at the FCC. Prior to his first period of service with the FCC, he worked in the Litigation Department of Hale and Dorr, LLP, (now Wilmer Hale) in Boston, Massachusetts.
Blackwell, an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is also descended from the Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. Blackwell is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law.