Barbara Hughey Roberts

“I just think of it as having been willing to test myself against the challenges. I think it is like anything…the only way we know we can’t do something is that if we tried it and failed.”

Barbara Hughey Roberts served as Oregon’s governor from 1991 to 1995.

Divorced with two children, she was working full-time when she began her political journey as a citizen lobbyist working to persuade the legislature to provide education for children with disabilities. Her success reinforced her belief that one person can make a difference. Warm and optimistic, she was a liberal Democrat who spoke her mind.

Useful links:

Oregon State Archives: Barbara Roberts’ Administration

Oregon Historical Society

Book Cover: Up the Capitol Steps

Oregon State University Press published Barbara’s autobiography– Up the Capitol Steps: A Woman’s March to the Governorship

National Governors Association

Speech: Women as Political Leaders: Our History and Experiences” (speech, League of Women Voters National Convention, Portland, OR, June 13, 2008),

Article by Neal Johnson and Gail Johnson, Governing Magazine: Leading by Listening: Barbara Roberts’ Conversation with Oregon

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