Goodrich's achievements as governor included adoption of property tax assessment at full cash value, increased powers for the state board of tax commissioners, creation of a state highway commission, creation of a department of conservation on the heels of the development of state parks (at the behest of his close friend Richard Lieber), a prohibition law and provision for the Indiana World War Memorial. He called a one-day session of the legislature on January 16, 1920, to ratify the Women's Suffrage Amendment to the United States Constitution and another special session six months later to deal with a state financial crisis.
In 1920, Goodrich was Indiana's favorite son candidate for the Republican nomination for president, losing to Senator Warren G. Harding. As president, Harding appointed Goodrich to the Russian Relief Commission. Goodrich made four trips to Russia, then governed by the Bolshevik regime of Vladimir Lenin, and gained a reputation as one of America's best-informed observers of conditions there. Goodrich also served in Herbert Hoover's American Relief Administration and on the St. Lawrence Waterway Commission. He remained active in Republican Party politics and made large donations from his personal fortune to Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he served on the board of trustees.