Bill Richardson has led a distinguished public-service career as a US congressman (1982-1996), US ambassador to the United Nations (1997-1998), and US secretary of energy (1998-2000).
In 2008, Richardson sought the democratic nomination for president, dropping out after Iowa and New Hampshire. As a diplomat and special envoy, Richardson has successfully won the release of hostages and American servicemen in North Korea, Cuba, Iraq and the Sudan.
Since entering life as a private citizen in 2011, he has authored three books, including How to Sweet-Talk a Shark: Strategies and Stories from a Master Negotiator. He is active on the national and international speech circuit and appears frequently on numerous television news programs, ranging from CNN to FOX, Univision, Meet the Press, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Richardson has served as a special fellow on Latin America at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and sits on several nonprofit boards, including the World Resources Institute (WRI), Refugees International, and the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). In addition, he serves on numerous for-profit boards, primarily in the renewable energy space, such as Abengoa International.
Richardson has started two foundations: The Richardson Center for Global Engagement, focusing on conflict resolution and prisoner release, and the Foundation to Preserve New Mexico Wildlife with actor and conservationist Robert Redford, which has led the charge to protect wild horses and provide alternatives to horse slaughter.
Before being elected governor of New Mexico, Richardson was chair of Freedom House, a private nonpartisan organization that promotes democracy and human rights worldwide, and served on the boards of the National Resource Defense Council and United Way International. He has been an adjunct professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and has received several honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning that include Tufts University and the University of New Mexico. As governor, Richardson taught courses at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University. He received a BA from Tufts in 1970 and an MA from Tuft’s Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in 1971.