Rotary Club of Portland: Service Above Self

Former Governor Barbara Roberts

Former Governor Barbara Roberts

  • Tuesday
    January 16, 2018
    12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
  • The Sentinel
    614 SW 11th Ave, 3rd floor
    Portland, OR

Speaker: Former Gov. Barbara Roberts

Barbara Roberts will be talking to us about her post-retirement work both as an author and in the non-profit sector.


Barbara Roberts was inaugurated as Oregon's first woman governor on Jan. 14, 1991. She completed her term as 34thgovernor in 1995. Roberts, a 4thgeneration Oregonian, was born in Corvallis on Dec.21, 1936 and grew up in Sheridan, where she graduated from Sheridan High School. She attended Portland State University, 1961-1964; the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, 1989; and Marylhurst College. She has two sons, Mark and Mike Sanders, and was married to state senator Frank Roberts from 1974 until his death in 1993.

Barbara Roberts began her career in public service as an advocate for handicapped children. She began as an unpaid lobbyist in 1969 spurred by concerns for her autistic son, Mike. She served on the Parkrose School Board, the Mt. Hood Community College Board, and the Multnomah County Commission before her election to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1981. During her second term, she became Oregon's first woman House majority leader.


During her term as governor, Roberts was recognized as a strong advocate for public education, human rights and services, environmental management, and streamlining state government.