Professor Richardson was Director of NILS from 2000-08. Prior to that she worked in the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide. She was President of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia from 2003-06. She has a 5 year term as a member of Fair Work Australia's Minimum Wage Panel. From 2004-9, she was a Commissioner of the Essential Services Commission of SA. In recent years she has been a member of the Board of CHASS, of the National Academies Forum, of the Board of the South Australian Certificate of Education, of the SA Population Advisory Committee and the Information Economy Advisory Board.
She has been a part-time Commissioner with the Industry Commission, Convener of the Academic Board and a member of the Council of the University of Adelaide and of its Finance Committee, on the Rhodes Scholarship selection committee, a member of the Ministerial Inquiry into Skills in South Australia and co-editor of the Economic Record.