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The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) named Geoffrey Blackwell (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Omaha, and Muscogee Creek) as the organization’s new general counsel and chief of staff. The annoucment was made through an press release on Thursday.

In this dual role, Blackwell will lead NCAI’s legal strategies and oversee the efficient operation of NCAI.

“We are thrilled to welcome Geoffrey Blackwell to NCAI,” said NCAI Executive Director Larry Wright, Jr. “His extensive expertise in federal Indian law and policy, coupled with his deep-rooted commitment to serving Tribal Nations, make him an invaluable addition to our leadership team. With him at the helm of our legal efforts and as chief of staff, we are confident in our ongoing advocacy for Tribal Nations.”

Most recently, Blackwell served for eight years of service as the chief strategy officer and general counsel for AMERIND.  Previously, Blackwell was the founding chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Office of Native Affairs and Policy, where he spearheaded efforts to bring modern communication technologies to tribal communities nationwide. In 2000, he also made history as the first enrolled member of a federally recognized tribal nation employed by the FCC. Blackwell has played a pivotal role in advocating for broadband policy on behalf of tribal nations and, in 2020, was honored as a co-recipient of Public Knowledge’s IP3 Internet Protocol Award.

Additionally, within NCAI, he assumes leadership responsibilities as co-chair of both the Economic, Finance, and Community Development Committee and the Technology and Telecommunications Subcommittee.

Raised in Oklahoma and New Mexico, Blackwell comes from a family deeply involved in tribal leadership and federal service dedicated to Indian Country. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law.

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