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Colorado College Strategic Plan: Building on the Block

Song Richardson headshot

L. Song Richardson is an educator, legal scholar, and lawyer who is recognized for her transformational leadership in higher education. She became Colorado College’s 14th president in July 2021. She earned her AB from Harvard College and her JD from Yale Law School.

She was drawn to Colorado College because of its people, its sense of purpose, and its commitment to antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion; increasing access for students; sustainability; the arts; and creativity and innovation.

President Richardson, who is Black and Korean, is the first woman of color to hold the presidency at Colorado College.

President Richardson was formerly the dean and chancellor’s professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. At the time of her appointment there, she was the only woman of color to lead a top-30 law school. While she was dean, the school received accolades for its commitment to students, its faculty scholarship, and its leadership in addressing the societal implications of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.

President Richardson sits on the boards of Lord Abbett Funds and on the Board of the Law School Admissions Council’s Legal Education Program Advisory Committee. She is an invited member of the Colorado Forum, which is a group of business and civic leaders committed to Colorado’s future. In her capacity as president of Colorado College, she serves on the board of directors of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and on the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Presidents Council.

Based on her leadership in higher education, she is a frequently invited speaker on the challenges facing higher education.

Her awards and recognitions include the Association of American Law Schools’ Derrick Bell Award, which recognizes a faculty member’s extraordinary contributions to legal education through mentoring, teaching, and scholarship; and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Trailblazer Award.  In recognition of her accomplishments, the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association created the L. Song Richardson Legacy Award to honor individuals whose contributions make a lasting impact on the legal profession.

President Richardson’s interdisciplinary research uses lessons from cognitive and social psychology to study decision-making and judgment. Her scholarship has been published by law journals at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Cornell, Duke, and Northwestern, among others.

President Richardson also is a classically trained pianist who performed twice with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and won numerous major piano competitions, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Harvard/Radcliffe concerto competitions.

She and her husband, sculptor Kurt Kieffer, live in Colorado Springs.

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