Usie Raymond Richards

Usie Raymond Richards was born to the late Verne I. Richards and Ernestine S. Lenhardt Richards on January 12, 1956. Usie Richards is married to Beverly Henry, and the father of Amarae, Nneka, Nailah, and Askia. He attained a catholic education at both St. Patrick’s School and St. Joseph High School, which he completed in 1973.

In his pursuit of higher education Usie Richards began his studies at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, in August of 1973.

In January of 1974 he became one of the first students to enroll in a dual university program offered at Meharry Medical College. In May of 1977 he graduated from both Fisk University and Meharry Medical College with a B.A. and Certificate in Health Care Administration and Planning.

Determined to return home, he began his professional career on September 27, 1977 at the Virgin Islands Department of Health, with the Bureau of Health Planning and Resources Development, as a Health Plan Developer II. 

He worked at the Department of Health until 1995, when he left as the Assistant Director of Health Planning for the Bureau of Health Planning and Statistics. In 1995 he joined the Legislative Branch as a Planner with the Committee on Health and Government Operations and has also held the position of Special Assistant/Researcher in the 24th Legislature.

He was elected to public office in 1988 to the St. Croix District Board of Elections and served as that Board’s Chairman from 1989 to 1991.

Richards served three 4-year terms on the Boards of Elections and also was Chairman of the Virgin Islands Joint Boards of Elections for 10 ½ years of the 12 years he served the Election System of the Virgin Islands. During his term on the Boards of Elections, Richards was a founding member of the Association of Caribbean Electoral Organization and a member of its Board of Directors.

As an active member of the Independent Citizens Movement Party, he served three terms as the Chairman of the Territorial Committee of the ICM party.

As a freshman Senator in the 25th Legislature he served as Minority Leader and Coordinator of the St. Croix Legislative Caucus. As a re-elected Senator of the 26th Legislature, Usie Richards served as Secretary of Intergovernmental and Territorial Affairs and Chairman of the Committee on Health, Hospitals and Human Services.

In the 27th Legislature Senator Richards served as President, while returning as the Minority Leader of the 28th Legislature and Chairman of the Committee on Labor and Agriculture. During his final term in the 29th Legislature, Senator Richards served as the Liaison to the U.S. Congress for the Legislature and the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and the Judiciary.

In 2004 he was elected as an At-Large Representative to the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) Executive Committee and served four two-year terms on the Executive Committee. In addition to serving in this capacity, Senator Richards served as the 2nd Vice-Chair, the 1st Vice-Chair and Chair of NBCSL Committee on Health and Human Services; and a member of NBCSL Housing Policy Committee, during his tenure with NBCSL.

He is a former Vice-President of the St. Croix Parent, Teacher & Student Council and served as President of the Virgin Islands Basketball Federation from 1980 to 2014. Richards served for two years as the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) and as CBC President from 2004 to 2014.

He is a member of the Regional Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for the Americas and a member of FIBA Central Board; he has held the positions of Chairman of the Permanent Commission on Legal Matters, Statutes and Internal Regulations for FIBA Americas; first and second Vice-President of the Central American and Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CONCECABA), and currently serves as the President of the FIBA Americas Zone, Deputy Chairman of FIBA’s Governance Commission and a member FIBA’s Legal Commission.