The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has announced the appointment of Geoffrey Blackwell as the organization’s new general counsel and chief of staff. Blackwell, who is of Chickasaw, Choctaw, Omaha, and Muscogee Creek descent, will be responsible for leading NCAI’s legal strategies and ensuring the efficient operation of the organization.
Blackwell brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having previously served as the chief strategy officer and general counsel for AMERIND for eight years. Prior to that, he was the founding chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy, where he played a key role in bringing modern communication technologies to tribal communities across the nation.
His efforts in advocating for broadband policy on behalf of tribal nations earned him recognition in 2020 as a co-recipient of Public Knowledge’s IP3 Internet Protocol Award. Within NCAI, Blackwell will also serve 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 holds degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law.
NCAI Executive Director Larry Wright, Jr. expressed his excitement about Blackwell’s appointment, highlighting his extensive expertise in federal Indian law and policy and his dedication to serving Tribal Nations. With Blackwell leading the legal efforts and serving as chief of staff, NCAI is confident in its continued advocacy for Tribal Nations.
This appointment marks an important milestone for NCAI as it strengthens its leadership team and charts a course for the future. With Blackwell at the helm, NCAI is well-positioned to advance the rights and interests of Native American tribes across the country.