Barbara Roberts

Born:December 21, 1936 (age 87)
Career:Governor of Oregon, 1991-1995
Secretary of State of Oregon, 1985-1991
Oregon House of Representatives, 1981-1985
Multnomah County Commissioner, 1978
Mt. Hood Community College Board
Parkrose (Ore.) School Board, 1973-1983

Barbara Roberts served as governor of Oregon from 1991-1995, the first woman to hold this position and the only one until the 2016 election of Kate Brown.

Roberts was born on December 21, 1936, in Corvallis, Oregon. She became an advocate for special-needs children after the diagnosis of her son in 1962, and successfully lobbied the Oregon State Legislature to require public schools to guarantee educational rights to special-needs children in 1971.

In 1973, Roberts was elected to Parkrose (Ore.) School Board. She also served as Multnomah County Commissioner in 1978 and was a member of the Mt. Hood Community College Board. She served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1981-1985, holding the position of majority leader from 1983-1984. She served as Oregon's secretary of state from 1985-1991, and served as governor from 1991-1995.

After her political career, Roberts became the director of the Harvard Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government and later Portland State University’s Hatfield School of Government’s Executive Leadership Institute Associate Director of Leadership Development.


National Governors Association. (n.d.). Gov. Barbara Roberts. Retrieved on June 18, 2020, from

The Oregon Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Barbara Kay Roberts (1936-). Retrieved on June 18, 2020 from