Betty Richardson

Betty received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Idaho, graduating magna cum laude and receiving recognition as an Outstanding Senior.  During her college years, Betty worked for the Idaho House and Senate Democratic caucuses, chaired the University of Idaho Church for President Committee, and led groups of Idaho college students to Nebraska, California, and Oregon in support of Senator Frank Church’s 1976 presidential campaign. After college, Betty served as Executive Secretary for the Idaho State Democratic Party and on the staff of Senator Frank Church in his Washington, D. C. and Moscow, Idaho, offices. Betty received her Juris Doctorate from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, where she was a teaching assistant and member of the Constitutional Law Quarterly.  Upon graduation, she was named a Tony Patino Fellow.  Betty serves on the Board of Directors of the Tony Patino Fellowship, chairs the Fellowship’s Renewal Committee and is a member of the Hastings Selection Committee.

Betty has been a ground-breaker in the legal field.  Nominated by former Idaho governor Cecil D. Andrus and confirmed by the Idaho State Senate, she was the first woman commissioner and chairperson of the Idaho Industrial Commission.  In 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated Betty to be United States Attorney for Idaho.  Unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Betty was the first woman to serve in that capacity, a role she held for seven years. Betty also served as an attorney-advisor for the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys in Washington, D.C., during the Obama Administration.  She has been an adjunct professor at Concordia University School of Law and Boise State University.

Betty has run for public office, recruited and mentored many candidates for state and federal office, and appeared as a political commentator on Idaho Public Television’s public affairs show “Idaho Reports.” She occasionally writes political opinion pieces for Ridenbaugh Press, a northwest publisher of public affairs books and newsletters. Betty also serves on the Board of Directors of the Frank Church Institute.

In the summer of 2020, Betty co-founded Idaho Women for Biden Harris, a private Facebook group.  Betty continues to lead this statewide group which boasts more than 11,000 members and is the second largest such group, on a per capita basis, in the country.

Betty has been married to her husband, Peter, a Boise attorney for 43 years.  They have two adult children, Jason, a lawyer in San Francisco, and Catherine, who teaches theater in middle school.







Class of 1982