Originally published: June 22, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:41am
Geoffrey Blackwell will return to the Federal Communications Commission will lead the FCC's efforts to work with Native Nations and carry out the National Broadband Plan's recommendations for bringing broadband to all Native communities.
Among his other responsibilities, Blackwell will be charged with helping to implement the recommendations outlined in the National Broadband Plan, including establishing a new office dedicated to addressing Native needs and overseeing a new FCC-Native Nations Broadband Task Force. He will also be responsible for developing and implementing a robust policy of meaningful dialog and consultation with Tribal entities.
Blackwell is a recognized expert in the fields of Tribal economic infrastructure development. In April 2009, Mr. Blackwell was appointed to the FCC's Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age. In September 2009, he was elected to be the Commissioner representing the United States on the Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas. From 1999-2005, Mr. Blackwell served at the FCC as Senior Attorney and Liaison to Tribal Governments. While at the FCC, he played a central role in the FCC's initiatives to stimulate Tribal telecommunications and broadcast services, including the development of the FCC's 2000 Statement of Policy on Establishing a Government-to-Government Relationship with Indian Tribes, adoption of the enhanced Lifeline and Link-Up support for residents of Tribal lands, and rules for cultural preservation review of Tribal sacred sites in tower siting.
Since his previous service at the FCC, Mr. Blackwell has been the Director of Strategic Relations and Minority Business Development for Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc., which oversees a family of companies wholly-owned by the Chickasaw Nation. In addition, Mr. Blackwell has chaired the Telecommunications Subcommittee of the National Congress of American Indians for five years. He has also served on the boards of the National Small Business Association, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, the Acoma Business Board of Acoma Pueblo, and Native Public Media. Earlier in his career, Mr. Blackwell practiced law in Boston at Hale and Dorr LLP. He holds an B.A. in Government from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Mr. Blackwell is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is also of Omaha, Choctaw, and Chickasaw heritage.
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