On June 22, 2010, Mr. Blackwell was appointed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to lead the Commission's efforts to work with Tribal Nations and Native communities. One of Mr. Blackwell’s first duties was to lead the FCC’s effort to establish ONAP, which was officially established by the Commission on August 12. Mr. Blackwell directs efforts to develop and drive a FCC-wide agenda to bring the benefits of modern communications technologies to Indian Country, including telecom, broadcast, and broadband internet services. The Office works with the FCC Commissioners, bureaus, and offices, as well as with other government agencies, private organizations, and the communications industries, to develop and implement FCC policies regarding Tribal Nations and Native communities, and ensure that Native concerns and voices are considered in all relevant Commission proceedings.
Mr. Blackwell previously worked as the Senior Attorney/Liaison to Tribal Governments at the FCC from 2000 to 2005, where he played a central role working throughout the agency in the FCC’s development of its 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 creation a new programmatic agreement rules for cultural preservation review and protection of Tribal sacred sites in the siting of communications towers.
Mr. Blackwell is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is also of Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Omaha heritage.