Richard is Professor of History and Chair of Asian Studies at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University (CSB/SJU) as well as Adjunct Professor in the Master of International Business Program at Saint Mary’s. A specialist on relations between Asia and the West, he publishes, lectures, and consults with academic, non-profit, philanthropic, civic, government and business organizations on ways to broaden East-West interchange. Since 1980, he has organized more than a hundred conferences, seminars, panels and other forums on expanding U.S.-Asia relations, advised colleges and universities on ways to prepare students for Asia-related careers, and led student, faculty, and professional delegations to and from Asia. In addition to promoting public education through the print media, he is a frequent guest analyst on Minnesota Public Radio and has appeared on “The PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.”
Richard developed the Asian Studies major and has secured and administered Bush and Freeman Foundation as well as U.S. Department of Education Title VI grants to enhance the Asian Studies Program at CSB/SJU. Currently, he directs the annual Minnesota seminar of the National Consortium for the Teaching of Asia (NCTA), which is dedicated to infusing Asian Studies into 6-12 grade curricula. He has also served as faculty resource to NCTA’s summer study tours of China. In 2005, he directed the Fulbright-funded “Asia’s ‘Fifth Dragon’” study tour of South China for liberal arts college professors from around the U.S.
During 1991-1992, Richard was director of Padilla Speer Beardsley International, responsible for developing projects and services on intercultural communication with Asia. In 1988-91, he served as deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development and executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office. From 1980 to 1987, he was president and executive director of the non-profit Midwest China Center, a coalition of universities, colleges, foundations, and corporations as well as civic, religious, community, and arts organizations. In these positions, Richard developed innovative programs and services that resulted in a significant broadening of multi-dimensional relationships between the American Midwest and Asia. In 1979-1980, Richard was Assistant Professor of History at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he created courses on East-West interaction. He taught classes on Western civilization at Hong Kong’s Diocesan Boys School in 1972-74.
Richard recently served as Board Chair of ASIANetwork, a consortium of 170 U.S. liberal arts colleges, and helped develop its most recent strategic plan to enhance collegiate Asian Studies programs. He is also is founding Board Chair of NEO Business College for Women in Tokyo and a founding board member of the Orville and Jane Freeman Center of International Economic Policy at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota; the International Trade Program at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota; and the St. Paul-based Hospitality Center for Chinese. He has been a member of the Association for Asian Studies; National Committee on United States-China Relations; Minneapolis-St. Paul Committee on Foreign Relations; Minnesota Foreign Affairs Advisory Committee; Society of International Business Fellows; and the Minnesota International Center. He advises the state of Minnesota on its interactions with China and has served on the steering committee of the Ford Foundation-funded "Making the Global Local" project. Since 1980, he has given numerous community lectures on U.S.-Asia relations for the Great Decisions Program of the Foreign Policy Association.
Richard publishes on East-West interchange in the academic, professional and mass media. His books include “Famine in China and the Missionary: Timothy Richard as Advocate of National Reform, 1876-1884” (Harvard University Press, 1972), “Religion in the People's Republic of China: The Limits of Reform” (The China Council of The Asian Society, 1982), and “Midwest USA/China Resource Guide” (Midwest China Center and Minnesota World Trade Center, 1987). He has also published dozens of monographs, book chapters, articles, book reviews, and op-ed pieces on U.S.-Asia interaction and on ways to enhance the development of Asian Studies curricula in the U.S. He sits on the editorial board of the International Policy Review, for which he edited the recent issue entitled "Is China Growing Too Fast?" He is a referee for academic presses and journals and an outside evaluator for the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Richard holds a Ph.D. degree in Modern Chinese History from the University of California, Davis; an M.A. in East Asian Studies and M.Div. in religion from Harvard University; and a B.A., summa cum laude, in East Asian History from the University of California, Davis.