Barbara Weil Snelling

Barbara Snelling
Barbara Snelling

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

One of Vermont's most prominent leaders in the fields of politics, education and business. Served for two terms as Lieutenant Governor and held a seat in the State Senate from 1997-1999 and 2001-2002. Member of the Shelburne School Board. First chair of the Board of Champlain Union Valley High School. Founded Snelling & Kolb, Inc. Served as Vice President of the University of Vermont. Served on Board of Chittenden Bank.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

1928

Primary Residence

Shelburne

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Barbara Weil Snelling has been very active in education, politics and business in Vermont throughout her life. She graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was married to Richard Snelling, who served as governor of Vermont for five terms before his death on August 13, 1991. As First Lady of Vermont, she was the founding chair of Friends of the Vermont State House, a group dedicated to the restoration of the Vermont State House. Following the death of her husband, she ran for the position of Lieutenant Governor and served two terms from 1993-1997. In 1996, she began her campaign for Governor, but was forced to drop out of the race due to a life-threatening cerebral hemorrhage. Her career was far from over, however. She returned to politics and won a seat in the Vermont State Senate from 1997-1999 and 2001-2003. While in the Senate she served on the Appropriations Committee (1997-1999), the Natural Resources and Energy Committee (1997-1999; 2001-2003) and the Health and Welfare Committee (2001-2003). In 2000, Snelling was nominated by President Clinton to be a member of the United State's Institute of Peace, a bipartisan board that promotes peace and conflict resolution through education and training. Snelling fell ill in 2002 and her daughter Barbara was appointed by Governor Howard Dean to complete her mother's term in the Senate.

Aside from her political career, Snelling has also been active in Vermont education. At the local level, she was a member of the Shelburne School Board, and she was the first Chair of the Board of Champlain Union Valley High School. At the state level, she was President of the Vermont School Board Association. She also served as the Vice President of Development and External affairs at the University of Vermont from 1974-1982. Snelling has been a trustee at Champlain College and has received honorary degrees from Norwich University, Middlebury College, and the University of Vermont.

She served her state in a business capacity by founding Snelling and Kolb, Inc., an international consulting firm that helps non-profit organizations. Snelling has also been involved with a variety of Vermont organizations over the years. She has served on the Board of Directors of Chittenden Bank, the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Council on Quality and the New England Dollars for Scholars. Snelling is a former member of the Vermont Commission on Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation, was chair of the Chittenden County United Way, and was a founding trustee of the Vermont Community Foundation. Barbara Snelling has been named Vermont Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year and served as a trustee of the Shelburne Museum.

Organizations or Movements

  • Friends of the Vermont State House
  • Snelling & Kolb Inc.
  • Member of the U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Vermont Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Vermont Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee
  • Vermont Senate Health and Welfare Committee
  • Vermont School Board Association
  • Shelburne School Board
  • Champlain Valley Union High School Board
  • Board of Directors of Chittenden Bank
  • Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Vermont Council on Quality
  • New England Dollars for Scholars
  • Vermont Commission on Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation
  • Chittenden County United Way
  • Vermont Community FoundationTrustee: Shelburne Museum, Champlain College

Occupations

  • Politician - State Senator 1997-2002
  • Lieutenant Governor 1993-1997
  • Founder
  • Snelling & Kolb. Inc
  • Vice President of Development and External affairs at the University of Vermont from 1974-1982

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Biographical Info Link

  • Joint Resolution Honoring Barbara Snelling Link

  • Article on 1996 Governor's Race Link

  • Biographical Information

  • The Snelling Center for Government Link

  • Vermont Public Radio Interview Link

  • President Names Barbara Snelling as a Member of the U.S. Institute of Peace Link

  • Vermont Women: Hazel M. Weil, mother of Barbara Snelling Link

Additional Images

Barbara Snelling and her daughter Diane. Dick Pratt for The Shelburne News
Barbara Snelling and her daughter Diane. Dick Pratt for The Shelburne News
Dorothy Douglas, Madeleine Kunin and Barbara Snelling.
Dorothy Douglas, Madeleine Kunin and Barbara Snelling.