Admiral Richardson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He also holds Masters Degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the National War College.
Richardson served in USS Parche (SSN 683), USS George C. Marshall (SSBN 654) and USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716). He commanded USS Honolulu (SSN 718) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and was awarded the James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award.
Richardson also served as Commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12 in Groton, Connecticut; Commander, Submarine Group 8; Commander, Submarine Allied Naval Forces South; Deputy Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; Chief of Staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa, in Naples, Italy; and Commander, Naval Submarine Forces in Norfolk, Virginia.
His staff assignments include duty in the Attack Submarine Division on the Chief of Naval Operations staff; Naval Aide to the President; prospective commanding officer instructor for Commander, Submarine Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Assistant Deputy Director for Regional Operations on the Joint Staff; and Director of Strategy and Policy at U.S. Joint Forces Command.
Richardson assumed his current duties as Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program on 2 November 2012.
Richardson served on teams that have been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, the Navy Unit Citation, and the Battle Efficiency E Awards.