WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is proud to announce Geoffrey Blackwell (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Omaha, and Muscogee Creek) as the organization’s new general counsel and chief of staff. 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.”
Blackwell brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to NCAI, following eight years of service as the chief strategy officer and general counsel for AMERIND. 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 to work at 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.
In addition to his role as general counsel and chief of staff, Blackwell maintains active engagement in various national organizations. He serves on the boards of the Native American Rights Fund and the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University. He has also dedicated his efforts to assisting Tribal Nations through involvement with the National Small Business Association, National Federation of Community Broadcasters, Native Public Media, Acoma Business Enterprises, and the Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas. 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.
About the National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.