Mr. Blakey earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1965. He also attended Morgan State College during his junior year in 1963-64, studying in the Institute for Political Education as a Visiting Undergraduate Scholar under the tutelage of Dr. G. James Fleming and Dr. Augustus A. Adair. During his year at Morgan State, he served as Chairman of the Institute’s Mock Democratic Nominating Convention; served as an intern in the office of the Honorable Daniel B. Brewster, a United States Senator from Maryland; and attended the 1964 Democratic Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mr. Blakey returned to Knoxville College to complete his undergraduate degree and also studied Latin American Government and Politics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville during the Fall and Winter quarters.
Mr. Blakey enrolled at the Howard University School of Law in September 1965, completing his studies in 1968 when he earned the Juris Doctor degree with the Class of 1968. He served as president of the Second Year Class (1966-67) and as President of the Student Bar Association in 1967-68. He was one of the founders of the Black American Law Students Association and the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. During his law school years, 1965-1968, Mr. Blakey served as a Special Assistant and Executive Assistant to Senator Brewster. Mr. Blakey has also completed most of the course requirements for the LLM in Labor Law from the Georgetown University School of Law.
Mr. Blakey’s professional career extends over more than forty-five years, including more than twenty-four years in the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government and service with the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. His Federal service includes ten years with four Federal departments and agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Legal Assistant/Attorney-Advisor, 1968-69); the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Special Assistant to the Staff Director and Director of Congressional Liaison, 1972-75), and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Legislation (Education) with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) in 1976-1979 and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislation (Human Services) with the Department of Health and Human Services in 1979-80.
In 1975-76, Mr. Blakey served as an attorney with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. He handled trial cases before the Commission and in District Courts and Circuit Courts in Kentucky, as well as appeals before in Circuit Court and before the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the Kentucky Supreme Court under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KRS 344.450) involving employment discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, and religion. Mr. Blakey was also involved in monitoring compliance by the Jefferson County Public Schools with the 1975 Federal District Court Order in Haycraft, et.al v. Jefferson County Public Schools desegregating the Louisville and Jefferson County Public Schools. He authored a report by the Louisville, Kentucky Chapter of the National Bar Association “Liberty and Justice for All” which analyzed student discipline of African American students in the wake of the 1975 desegregation Order.
Mr. Blakey also served with Senator Paul Simon, following his 1984 election to the United States Senate from Illinois. His work with Senator Simon included service as Senior Legislative Assistant and Minority Staff Director for the Labor and Human Resources Subcommittee on Employment and Productivity (1984-86) and as Staff Director and Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Employment and Productivity. In this capacity, he served as the Senator’s senior policy advisor with regard to all education, employment, labor law and civil rights matters that came before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. He provided policy advice and counsel to the Senator regarding all policy matters that came before the Committee, except health policy, and supervised both the Subcommittee staff and those personal staff who were responsible of Labor and Human Resources legislative policy matters, including confirmation issues affecting the Department of Education, Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Equal Employment opportunity Commission.
Since 1989, Mr. Blakey as served as a policy advisor and public policy advocate, and Washington Counsel for a broad array of clients with legislative concerns before the Congress of the United States, the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other Federal Departments and Agencies. He has worked with a diverse clientele to provide policy recommendations and advice regarding academic programs, Federal agency funding strategies, and counsel with regard to securing authorization and appropriations of Federal funds.