Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo by Zach Gibson.
What does she do? Kirsten Gillibrand is an American attorney and politician. She has served as the junior United States Senator from New York since 2009, having previously held the position of U.S. Representative for New York’s 20th congressional district. She is a member of the Democratic Party and New York’s second female U.S. senator.
Who is she? Kirsten Gillibrand was born in Albany, New York to two attorneys. She graduated from Emma Willard School, an all-women’s private secondary school in Troy, New York, then enrolled at Dartmouth College. Gillibrand majored in Asian Studies and studied abroad in both Beijing and Taiwan. She graduated magna cum laude in 1988, later receiving her J.D. from UCLA School of Law. She passed the bar exam in 1991.
Gillibrand began her professional career as an associate at Manhattan-based law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. Here, she worked as a defense attorney during major litigation, including both civil lawsuits and U.S. Justice Department criminal and civil racketeering probes. She became a senior associate and involved herself in the Womens Leadership Forum, a program of the Democratic National Committee. After being inspired by a speech delivered by then-First Lady Hilary Clinton, Gillibrand left her position and served as Special Counsel to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo.
Gillibrand has had a wildly successful political career, encompassing and exalting both Democratic and Republican party ideals. She has served in several political roles on numerous committees and has played a key part in human rights legislation.
Why watch? Kirsten Gillibrand is running for re-election to the Senate for 2018. She has also been mentioned as a possible Democratic nominee for President in 2020. When asked about the potential for a Presidential run, Gillibrand said she was, “ruling it out.” Regardless, Gillibrand is a titanic voice in modern U.S. politics, and we expect to see her claim even more important, prestigious, and impactful titles later in her career.