When New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson speaks about embracing diversity, the American dream, and serving others, he speaks from unparalleled experience.
Born November 15, 1947 in Pasadena, California to an American father and Mexican mother, Governor Richardson grew up in Mexico City before moving to New England, where he attended high school and college. He has dedicated his life to public service, as a United States Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary of Energy, and now as Governor of New Mexico.
Bill Richardson was recently re-elected to a second term as Governor of New Mexico with the support of 69 percent of voters, representing the largest margin of victory for any Governor in state history. He was supported by Democrats, Republicans and Independents, winning in both urban and rural counties New Mexicans overwhelmingly endorsed Governor Richardson's aggressive efforts to improve education, cut taxes, build a high-wage economy, expand health care access, invest in renewable energy and make New Mexico safer.
Bill Richardson's fiscally responsible governing style has allowed New Mexico to tackle important priorities, while maintaining a balanced budget and the highest reserves in state history. He cut $230 million in bureaucratic waste, invested in new opportunities for New Mexico's children and returned more than $1 billion dollars in taxes to working families.
As Secretary of Energy to President Bill Clinton, Bill Richardson implemented tough efficiency standards to save energy. And as Governor, he has made New Mexico the Clean Energy State by requiring utility companies to produce energy through renewable resources and reduce carbon emissions.
Before becoming Governor, Bill Richardson served in Congress for 15 years and helped President Clinton pass the economic plan that created millions of jobs and led America to its first balanced budget in 30 years.
Appointed by President Clinton as the Ambassador to the UN, Bill Richardson worked with world leaders to build alliances and help prevent the development of nuclear weapons in North Korea. Bill Richardson has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the release of hostages, American servicemen and political prisoners in North Korea, Iraq, and Cuba. Governor Richardson recently negotiated a 60-day cease fire in war-torn Darfur following direct talks with rebel leaders and the President of Sudan.
As Chairman of the Democratic Governor's Association, Governor Richardson raised more than $28 million for gubernatorial candidates and helped elect the first Democratic majority of governors since 1994. Governor Richardson also served as Chair of the Western Governors Association, Border Governor's Conference and the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Bill Richardson has been married to his high school sweetheart, Barbara, for 33 years. Richardson received a BA from Tufts in 1970 and a MA from Tuft's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1971.