Bloomington-based Regional Opportunity Initiatives Inc. has added Brian Blackwell as director of industry and quality of place initiatives. He will join the firm in early November, following his retirement from a 30-year career at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. Most recently serving as director of engagement, Blackwell was responsible for leveraging opportunities to build state, regional and national relationships with government, industry, academia and the local communities. In this role, he focused on workforce development, technology, research & development, and quality of place efforts of mutual benefit to NSWC Crane and the surrounding region.  
Blackwell began his career at General Motors Corp. where he held positions in production engineering and manufacturing. He entered public service at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane in 1987 and worked in engineering and management roles supporting Navy and Marine Corps Combat Systems. Blackwell also served as deputy executive director and as director of the Mission Support Services Department, Electronics Development Department, Global Deterrence & Defense Department and the Applied Science Department.  
Blackwell represented NSWC Crane on a series of boards and advisory groups, including the ROI board of directors, the Radius Indiana board of directors, the I-69 Innovation Corridor Executive Committee, the Battery Innovation Center board of directors and the Southwest Central Indiana Steering Committee.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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