Richardson Center will carry on work of late New Mexico governor

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As the U.S. continues to mourn a former New Mexico governor most influential for his work outside of office, we now know his work will carry on.

Bill Richardson founded his Center for Global Engagement to promote global peace and create a diplomatic conversation with countries not usually open to that.

Now, after the former New Mexico governor’s death, Richardson Center officials say:

“Our work is not yet done.”

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson helped negotiate the release of several American citizens wrongfully detained abroad.

One of the last Americans he helped was Taylor Dudley, a Navy veteran detained in Russia after crossing the Russia-Poland border. Richardson helped free him in January.

Richardson also helped with the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner last year.

At the time of Griner’s release, Richardson said his foundation was working on bringing Paul Whelan home. Since 2018, Russian authorities have had him detained for espionage.

Whelan and the U.S. deny those claims.

In a statement, Mickey Bergman, the executive director and vice president said, “We are currently working with more than 20 families and individuals held hostage or political prisoner.”

It’s still unclear who those 20 families and individuals are – or if that includes Whelan.

What is clear, is the foundation is continuing the mission that consisted of completed missions in North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Russia.