Born and raised in upstate New York, Kirsten got her start watching her grandmother, Polly Noonan, organize Albany women to make a difference. Those early experiences taught Kirsten the values that guide her public service to this day: hard work, idealism, honesty and bold action.
Kirsten Gillibrand was first sworn in as United States Senator from New York in January 2009. After winning a special election in 2010 to serve out the remainder of Secretary Clinton’s term in the Senate, Gillibrand was elected to her first full six-year term in 2012 with a New York statewide record 72 percent of the vote. Gillibrand won 60 of New York’s 62 counties in the 2012 general election.
Prior to joining the Senate, Kirsten pulled off a stunning upset in her first Congressional race, unseating an entrenched Republican incumbent in 2006 by building the biggest grassroots campaign in the 20th Congressional district's history. She served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to early 2009 in her upstate New York district spanning 10 counties.
As congresswoman, Kirsten pledged to be honest, open and upfront with the public and always stay accessible and accountable. That's why she became the very first member of Congress to put her official daily schedule, personal financial disclosure and federal earmark requests online. The New York Times called her commitment to transparency a "quiet touch of revolution" in Washington.
In only a short time, Kirsten Gillibrand has made her presence felt in the Senate. In 2010, she helped lead the fight to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and overcame fierce partisan opposition to provide health care and compensation for the 9/11 first responders who are sick and dying from breathing the toxins at Ground Zero. In 2012, she was an architect in the passing of the STOCK Act that finally made it illegal for members of Congress to profit from non-public information, which was hailed by the Washington Post as the “most substantial debate on congressional ethics in nearly five years.”
In 2013 and 2014, she earned national recognition for fighting the Pentagon over how sexual assaults are handled by our military, creating a unique bipartisan coalition in the process. She is now helping to lead a bipartisan coalition taking on the issue of sexual assaults on our college campuses – all while continuing her successful Off the Sidelines project that supports women candidates across the country. Her work led TIME Magazine to name her as one of 2014’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and the Daily News to place her number four on its list of “50 Most Powerful Women in New York.” Kirsten has also been recognized as one of Newsweek and The Daily Beast ‘s “150 Women Who Shake the World.”
Senator Gillibrand's home is in Brunswick, New York, with her husband, Jonathan Gillibrand, and their two young sons, ten-year-old Theodore and six-year-old Henry. Her family is a major inspiration behind her public service career. She does not want any mother to have to worry that there will not be enough food on the table or health care for their sick child.