Geoffrey Blackwell

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI): General Counsel and Chief of Staff

Geoffrey Blackwell (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Omaha, and Muscogee Creek) serves as the General Counsel and Chief of Staff for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). In this dual role, he leads NCAI’s legal strategies and oversees the organization’s operations, ensuring the effective and efficient execution of its mission.

Blackwell brings extensive expertise in federal Indian law and policy, backed by a distinguished career dedicated to advancing the interests of Tribal Nations. Prior to joining NCAI, he served as the Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel for AMERIND for eight years, where he was instrumental in shaping the organization’s strategic direction and legal frameworks.

He is recognized for his groundbreaking work as the founding Chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Office of Native Affairs and Policy. There, he led initiatives to enhance communication technologies in tribal communities across the nation. In 2000, Blackwell made history as the first enrolled member of a federally recognized Tribal Nation to work at the FCC. His tireless advocacy for broadband policy for Tribal Nations earned him the prestigious IP3 Internet Protocol Award from Public Knowledge in 2020.

Beyond his responsibilities at NCAI, Blackwell actively contributes to several national organizations. He holds board positions with the Native American Rights Fund and the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University. His commitment extends to 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. Within NCAI, he also co-chairs 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 engaged in tribal leadership and federal service to Indian Country. He is an alumnus of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law. His dedication and leadership continue to drive forward NCAI’s mission to advocate for the rights and well-being of Tribal Nations.