Barbara Richardson was raised in Concord, Massachusetts. She received an Associate of Arts degree from Colby Junior College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, graduating magna cum laude.
Mrs. Richardson has made domestic violence, child immunizations, and literacy her top three issues as First Lady.
Mrs. Richardson served as 2003 Chair for Read Across America in New Mexico and for the past three years as statewide chair of Big Brothers/Big Sisters First Lady's Bowl for Kids Sake which has raised more than $100,000 over the past three years.
Because of her interest in the issue of domestic violence, she was instrumental in the formation of the Governor's Domestic Violence Advisory Board, serving as its Chairwoman. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Office of Domestic Violence Czar.
In addition, through her leadership as Honorary Chair for the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, New Mexico earned a national award from the Center for Disease Control as the state with the most improved immunization record.
With literacy as another area of interest, Mrs. Richardson was responsible for the donation by Disney Corporation and Baby Einstein Corporation of 20,000 Baby Einstein educational videos to low income New Mexican families, as well as 5,000 new books from Scholastic Books for a southside Santa Fe elementary school and 500 books for the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital Pediatric Clinic.
She has formerly served as a member of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum's Education Committee, as a board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Santa Fe and as program coordinator for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Washington, D.C.