Kirsten E. Gillibrand was sworn in as a United States Senator from New York in January 2009, filling the seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In November 2010, Gillibrand won election to the seat with 63 percent of the vote. Prior to her service in the Senate, Gillibrand served in the United States House of Representatives, representing New York’s 20th Congressional District, which spans across ten counties in upstate New York.
Throughout her time in Congress, Senator Gillibrand has been committed to open and honest government. When she was first elected, she pledged to bring unprecedented transparency and access to her post. And she did, becoming the first Member of Congress to post her official public schedule, personal financial disclosure, and federal earmark requests online. The New York Times called Gillibrand’s commitment to transparency a “quiet touch of revolution” in Washington, and The Sunlight Foundation, the leading advocacy organization dedicated to making government more open and transparent, praised Senator Gillibrand as a pioneer for her work. For more information, visit Senator Gillibrand’s Sunlight Report here.
In the US Senate, Senator Gillibrand has made her presence felt, helping lead the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the policy that banned gays from serving openly in the military, as well as working to provide health care and compensation to the 9/11 first responders and community survivors who became sick with diseases caused by the toxins present at Ground Zero. Senator Gillibrand worked to bring Democrats and Republicans together to win both legislative victories, leading Newsweek and The Daily Beast to name Senator Gillibrand one of 150 women who shake the world.
As the mother of two young children, Senator Gillibrand knows that working families are struggling in this difficult economy. By making quality child care and higher education more affordable, providing property tax relief, and keeping our neighborhoods safe, Senator Gillibrand’s legislative agenda aims to help middle class and working families. She has written legislation to address the country’s nursing shortage, make quality autism treatment more affordable, improve asthma treatment for children, and ensure that drinking water and baby products are safe for consumers.
Senator Gillibrand’s number one priority is to rebuild the American economy, through creating well paying jobs, helping small businesses get loans, and partnering with the private sector to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Using her seat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Gillibrand has worked to increase investment in infrastructure, including drinking water and sewer systems, rural broadband, health care information technology, and renewable energy, working closely with the Obama Administration and Senator Charles Schumer to ensure that New York gets its fair share of federal dollars.
As the first New York Senator to sit on the Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years, Senator Gillibrand is giving New York families the seat at the table they deserve as Congress debates food policy. She is taking a leading role to improve child nutrition and combat child obesity by giving children and families more access to fresh fruits and vegetables grown right here in New York. She is also fighting hard to protect New York’s farmers, especially those who need help in the current economic crisis. Senator Gillibrand is leading the fight to make sure dairy farmers get a fair price for the milk they produce.
After serving on the Armed Services Committee in the House, Senator Gillibrand is now serving on the Senate Armed Services, using her position to strengthen America’s armed services, national security, and military readiness, and to continue fighting for America’s troops and military families by creating better economic opportunities for veterans returning home to their families today.
From her seat on the Aging Committee, Senator Gillibrand is committed to fighting on behalf of seniors, working to lower the cost of prescription drugs, make long-term care more affordable so seniors can remain independent for as long as they are able, and protect seniors from financial fraud. Senator Gillibrand is also working to lower property taxes, co-sponsoring legislation that would give New York residents a full federal tax deduction for their property taxes.
After attending Albany’s Academy of Holy Names, Senator Gillibrand graduated in 1984 from Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, the first all women’s high school in the United States. A magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College in 1988, Gillibrand went on to receive her law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1991 and served as a law clerk on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
After working as an attorney in New York City for more than a decade, Senator Gillibrand served as Special Counsel to United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Andrew Cuomo during the Clinton Administration. She then worked as an attorney in Upstate New York before becoming a member of Congress.
Born and raised in Upstate New York, Senator Gillibrand now lives in Brunswick, New York, with her husband, Jonathan Gillibrand, and their two young sons, eight-year-old Theodore and four-year-old Henry.