Born and raised in upstate New York, Kirsten Gillibrand 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, honesty, bold action, and the value of women's voices.
Kirsten 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, Kirsten was elected to her first full six-year term in 2012 with a New York statewide record 72 percent of the vote, winning 60 of New York's 62 counties.
Prior to joining the Senate, Kirsten served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to early 2009 for New York's upstate 20th Congressional district spanning 10 counties. As congresswoman, Kirsten 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.
Since joining the Senate in 2009, Kirsten has made her presence felt. 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 of the passage of the STOCK Act that finally made it illegal for members of Congress to profit from non-public information.
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. In addition, Kirsten is 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 NY Daily News to place her number four on its list of "50 Most Powerful Women in New York." Kirsten also became a New York Times best-selling author in 2014 with the release of her book, Off The Sidelines, part memoir and part call to action to women to make their voices heard.
In 2015, Kirsten continued to be a champion of commonsense progressive reform, as she re-introduced the FAMILY Act, to create a national paid leave fund for every U.S. worker, as well as legislation that would finally make gun trafficking a federal crime so we can keep our families and communities safe from gun violence. As the year came to a close, Kirsten was proud Congress finally passed a permanent extension of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to guarantee our sick 9/11 first responders the health care they deserve and have earned.
Senator Gillibrand's home is in Brunswick, New York, with her husband, Jonathan Gillibrand, and their two young sons, twelve-year-old Theodore and seven-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.