Program Contact

If you have questions about the program please contact:

Brother Rogers
Phone: (662) 325-8409

Other Programs

Bookmark Print E-mail

Past Events

Programs >> Women's Leadership Initiatives >> Lindy Boggs Award >> Ann Richards, 1996
Ann Richards, 1996

 ANN RICHARDS, who served as the 45th Governor of Texas, was the recipient of the first Corrine (Lindy) Boggs Award. She reinvented the way government works, making state agencies more efficient, accountable, accessible and inclusive. Her service as governor was the result of a lifetime of public service as a teacher, a civil rights activist, Travis County Commissioner, and State Treasurer.

Richards first became involved in politics while in graduate school and remained active while raising her four children, volunteering to work on local and statewide campaigns and fighting for civil rights and economic justice. In 1976, Richards was recruited to run for office and defeated a three term incumbent for a seat on the Travis County Commissioner Court at a time when, she recalls, "Texas was not noticeably hospitable to the notion that a woman could handle that kind of responsibility." Six years later Richards was asked to run again - this time for State Treasurer. She won with more votes than any other statewide candidate on the ballot, becoming the first women elected to statewide office in more than fifty years. In 1986, she was re-elected without opposition.

As State Treasurer, Richards installed leading technology and pioneered banking and investment practices that earned taxpayers more non-tax revenue than all other Treasurers in the history of Texas combined - more than $2 billion. In 1988, Richards delivered the Keynote Address to the Democratic National Convention, reminding the nation that what we all work for is a future that is good for our children and grandchildren, and that what we have today must be nurtured and passed along to following generations.

On November 6, 1990, Richards was elected Governor of Texas. Under her guidance, Texas led the nation in economic recovery. At the same time, she streamlined state government, rooting out waste and inefficiency. In 1991, she authorized comprehensive audits of every state agency, producing recommendations that saved Texans more than $6 billion. In 1993, she presided over the lowest budget increase in more than 30 years, delivering increased state services without new taxes. She also brought home a record $17 billion in federal funds for Texas - up almost 75% from the previous administration.

Governor Richards introduced site-based management to Texas schools, allowing parents, teachers, students, and principals to decide how best to make their schools succeed. Governor Richards increased accessibility and accountability by creating the "Capital For A Day" program, taking state government out of Austin and into local communities to hear citizen's concerns, answer questions, and provide on site state services. She made state government more inclusive by appointing more African Americans, Hispanics and women to state posts than the two previous governors combined.

After her years in public service, Richards worked as a consultant and served on several corporate boards. She died on September 13, 2006.