Upstate Forever

Board of Directors & Advisory Council

Chris Richardson

Chris Richardson

Christopher Richardson is a former U.S. diplomat, immigration attorney, and currently the General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for BDV Solutions, LLC.  In this role, Richardson provides strategic counsel on a number of immigration-related matters.  He also works on pro bono immigration cases including asylum for unaccompanied minors and advised non-profit groups in relation to their visits to ICE detention centers. 

Prior to his time as an attorney, he was a Foreign Service officer for 7 years.  He served as various roles including Deputy Consular Section Chief, American Citizens Services Chief, Immigrant Visa Chief, and Nonimmigrant Visa Chief with assignments in Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Spain.  He won numerous State Department awards including Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.  

Since then, Richardson wrote an affidavit regarding the waiver process for the Travel ban and Justice Stephen Breyer cited that affidavit in his dissent in Trump v. Hawaii.  Richardson has been interviewed by Slate Magazine, Reuters, NPR, CBS, BBC, Georgia Public Radio, The Intercept, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  He has also written op-eds for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Slate Magazine and the Nation.  

Richardson serves on the advisory board of the Center for Victims of Torture and advises both Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland on a wide range of immigration issues.  Richardson also serves as an advisor for the Muslim Advocates, a legal nonprofit that is challenging the waiver process.  Finally, Richardson provided strategic advice to the mayor of Atlanta on her decision to end the city’s contract with ICE.  Prior to his Foreign Service career, Richardson was an immigration attorney, graduated from Duke University School of Law, and graduated summa cum laude from Emory University.  He is also the co-author of the Historical Dictionary of the Civil Rights Movement (2014). 

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