The program establishes two Indigenous Ambassadors to be selected from underrepresented indigenous communities to participate in ICANN International Meetings. Through the inclusion of a broader and more diverse base of knowledgeable constituents, ICANN will be better equipped to support the next generation of the global Internet community.

Ambassadors & Mentors


Geoffrey Blackwell and Ruben Hilare-Quispe are the two Ambassadors to attend ICANN60 selected by the Evaluation Committee. The Evaluation Committee is consisted of Loris Taylor, Eduardo Diaz, Glenn McKnight, Judith Hellerstein, Renata Aquino Ribeiro, Sarah Kiden, and Maureen Hilyard. The Evaluation Committee also chose Renata Aquino Ribeiro to be the Indigenous Mentor to the Ambassadors. Matthew Rantanen is an Honorary Mentor and ICANN60 Fellow.


Geoffrey Blackwell (Global Indigenous Ambassador) is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. He is enrolled in the following tribes: Muscogee (Creek);also of Chickasaw, Choctaw, Omaha descent. He works at AMERIND Risk Management Corporation as Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel. AMERIND is a private Tribal governmental entity risk pool management corporation. As Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel, Mr. Blackwell oversees the Finance, IT, Human Resources, and Communications Departments, as well as AMERIND’s newest entity, AMERIND Critical Infrastructure. It is a department that helps tribal nations acquire broadband services.  Also directs legal affairs and strategic development efforts.  
Mr. Blackwell is regarded as a national expert in tribal economic and corporate development, and tribal communications technologies deployment.  In these areas, he has testified before the United States Congress on six occasions, from both the tribal and federal perspectives.  He worked with hundreds of tribal leaders and councils nationwide.  He participates very actively on national policy development and advocacy on the broadband needs and uses of tribal nations.  

In his career, while twice working at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and in-between, while serving organizations like the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and Native Public Media (NPM), Mr. Blackwell has been involved in virtually every major piece of US FCC federal tribal broadband policy and regulatory development.  This includes the FCC’s seminal 2000 Tribal Policy Statement, broadband subsidy programs, wireless spectrum regulation and buildout incentives, broadcast radio licensing tribal priorities, and tower siting regulations to preserve tribal sacred sites. 

Mr. Blackwell’s current positions include:

  • Chair of the Board, NPM

  • Co-Chair, Technology & Telecommunications Subcommittee, NCAI

  • Co-Chair, Economic, Finance & Community Development Committee, NCAI

  • Vice Chair, Board of Advisors, Arizona State University’s American Indian Policy Institute

His work prior to joining AMERIND included:  

  • Chief, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, FCC, July 2010-October 2015, Washington DC

    • As the Office’s founding Chief, helped the FCC establish ONAP to guide efforts incentivizing deployment of broadband technologies across Indian Country

    • Helped craft broadband deployment regulations and internet policies 
      Carried out numerous FCC-Tribal Nation trainings and consultations 

  • Corporate Director, Strategic Relations and Minority Business Development, Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc. (CNI), (tribal business incubation company), October 2005-July 2010, Washington, DC

    • Helped establish diverse tribal companies and ventures using federal programs and private sector partnerships

    • Performed legal, financial, due diligence, and operations programs

  • Senior Attorney and FCC Liaison to Tribal Governments, FCC, Washington DC, January 2000-October 2005

    • As the first enrolled member to ever work at the FCC, helped establish the early Indian Tribal Telecommunications Initiatives of 2000 and beyond

  • Special Contract Attorney, Litigation Department, Hale and Dorr, LLP, (now Wilmer Hale), Boston, MA, 1996-2000

His former Board service included:

  • International Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas (served as Commissioner from the USA)

  • FCC’s Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age

  • US National Small Business Association

  • US National Federation of Community Broadcasters

  • Acoma Business Enterprises of the Pueblo of Acoma  

Personal Information:

  • Enrolled member: Muscogee (Creek) Nation; also of Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Omaha heritage

  • Raised in New Mexico and Oklahoma

  • Graduated from Dartmouth College; University of Virginia School of Law

  • Undergraduate credits earned: University of Lyon, France

Mr. Blackwell has been called a "Cyber Warrior". He spent the majority of his career, either in primary employment or in Board or volunteer service, working with other indigenous leaders at the grassroots and national level on the broadband technology needs of tribal governments and citizens. These experiences include working with and on behalf of American Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, members of tribal communities, and residents of the Native Hawaiian Home Lands.  

Mr. Blackwell chairs the Board of Directors of Native Public Media. NPM is an At-Large Structure under NARALO.  NPM works across the nation to support the priorities of both radio broadcast and broadband based media outlets in American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages.  NPM is also driving force and trusted voice in many tribal communities in the USA on broadband deployment and usage.  Mr. Blackwell also works closely with tribal broadcasters who wish to move to broadband platforms and technologies. 

Mr. Blackwell has started the AMERIND Critical Infrastructure.  Now he also oversees a company that keeps him involved in grassroots planning, architecture, due diligence, finance, and operations planning with tribal governments, schools, libraries, IT departments, and broadband technology companies.  

In addition, in the arena of academia and policy research, Mr. Blackwell is actively involved as an officer of the Arizona State University American Indian Policy Institute, which is actively engaged in a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the state of broadband deployment and usage in Tribal communities nationwide. The policy research capabilities and mission of ASU/AIPI are somewhat unique in the field of academia research and analysis.  

Mr. Blackwell first learned of ICANN in 2000 when he first became involved at the FCC with tribal broadband needs. With the Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas, formed after WSIS II in Tunis, he was involved in an effort in the Americas to support indigenous broadband priorities and needs that could not sustain momentum.  

Source: Global Indigenous Ambassador Program Application, http://nativepublicmedia.org/team/geoffrey-c-blackwell/

Ruben Hilare-Quispe (Global Indigenous Ambassador) is from La Paz, Bolivia, part of the Aymara indigenous nation. He is a Project Coordinator at Jaqi Aru (www.jaqi-aru.org). Jaqi Aru is an aymara organization with members of aymara young people  located in one of the cities in Aymaras, El Alto. Mr. Hilare-Quispe is responsible for coordinating a variety of projects related to Aymara language, technology, education and culture. Jaqi Aru was created n 2010 in order to bring Aymara language and culture onto the internet. Mr. Hilare-Quispe is one of the founders.

Mr. Hilare-Quispe isalso a coordinator in projects including Cuyahuani 2.0 (technology sovereignty and young aymaras) with Hivos LAC, Aymara Wikipedia 2017,  and Facebook Aymara translation project. He publishes blogs in Aymara at Blogueros El Alto and Investigadores Aymaras.He is also an  editor and translator of Rising Voices: Global Voices Aymarata  and a leader in the Aymara Ciberactivists team.

Mr. Hilare-Quispe is a supporter of Aymara and other native communities as well as a mentor, an advocate of bilingual education, and a promoter of the word on native music of the Andes. He participated in Global Voices Summit in 2010 and Wikimania 2011. Mr. Hilare-Quispe  encourages using native languages on the Internet.He recognizes ICANN as one of the most important  venue to tackle technology and language issues like Aymara. Particularly, he is interested in how to implement IDNs in Aymara script on the Internet and wants to understand how to use Internet positively for education of young native people. Aymara language on the Internet has been inspiring other native languages in Bolivia and many countries of Central and South America.He aims  to support and share knowledge with all those native nations in the region.

Links to Mr. Hilare-Quispe’s work and organizations:

Source: Global Indigenous Ambassadors Program Application & Facebook Profile

Matthew Rantanen (Honorary Mentor and ICANN60 Fellow) has been the Director of Technology at the Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association, a non-profit of 19 Native tribes in the San Diego County, since October 2001. He supervises Network Technology Staff  for a WAN spanning 250 miles and supporting 65+ tribal municipality buildings. He helped establish the first FCC Tribal Priority for broadcasting and the the new FCC Office of Native Affairs and Policy. He oversees programs and services for the 53 Native-owned and licensed non-commercial educational radio stations.

Mr. Rantanen is involved with many aspects of Native communications, holding the following roles:

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors of Native Public Media, since October 2011

  • Native Nations Broadband Task Force Member of the FCC, since February 2011

  • Co-Chair of the Technology and Telecom Subcommittee of the National Congress of American Indians, since April 2013

  • Vice President of Technology of Southern California Tribal Technologies, LLC, since October 2005

Additionally, Mr. Rantanen  is involved with ICANN through Native Public Media, an At-Large Structure  in the At-Large Community. He is also involved with NARALO. Mr. Rantanen is generally passionate about changing the digital landscape for the indigenous population of the USA, as a self-professed "cyber warrior for tribal broadband".

He attended ICANN51 in Los Angeles and IGF meetings.

Source: https://icannwiki.org/Matthew_Rantanen

Renata Aquino Ribeiro (Mentor) is an independent researcher and professor and one of the founders at E.I. Collective. During the Internet Freedom Festival 2017, Dr. Ribeiro was a fellow in the Regions and Groups track. In ICANN57, she was a coach. She also participated inpart of the MAG IGF – Multistakeholder Advisory Group in the Internet Governance Forum promoted by the United Nations, representing Civil Society. In 2015, she was a professor in the IT Campus at Quixadá City in Federal University of Ceará (UFC), Brazil. In 2014, Dr. Ribeiro was a researcher in social development, technology and education at Business and Economics Faculty (FEAAC) at UFC. During the last decade, she followed  Internet governance debates in regional IGFs and ICANN53. She was a fellow in the 2014 Brazilian Internet School of Governance , a fellow in 2015 South School of Internet Governance,  a member of the LACRALO ALS Nexti,and a participant in NCUC in ICANN. With over 15 years of experience in technology and education markets, Dr. Ribeiro has acquired a broad knowledge of e-learning, instructional design, edtech, and social media for learning Also, Dr. Ribeiro taught in universities and education and technology projects involving NGOs, public and private schools, as well as corporate training programs. She completed her PhD in 2012 in Education Curriculum as a part of the research group in Technologies in Education at Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP). Ribeiro also has received the Master of Arts in Hypermedia from University of Westminster (2003), which was validated in Brazil through University of São Paulo (USP). She received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from PUC-SP (1998).

Personal Blog: https://pesquisaeducacao.wordpress.com

 

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