Born In: Albany, New York, United States
Kirsten Gillibrand is American politician who currently serves as the senator and representative from the U.S. state of New York. She has been serving in the position since 2009. A ‘UCLA’ law graduate, she began her career as an attorney at the 'Davis Polk & Wardwell' law firm. While working there, she defended the tobacco company 'Philip Morris.' While pursuing her legal career, Gillibrand was associated with a program led by the 'Democratic Party.' During that period, she was inspired by Hillary Clinton. Gillibrand assisted her in the 2000 ‘U.S. Senate’ campaign that majorly focused on women empowerment. She also served as the special counsel to the secretary of ' Housing and Urban Development.' Gillibrand, representing the 'Democratic Party,' was voted to the to the 110th congress of the ‘House’ and served until 2009. She then stepped down from her seat to run for the ‘U.S. Senate.’ Gillibrand filled in the post vacated by Clinton and was officially sworn in to office after she resigned from the ‘House of Representatives.’ Her current tenure will end on January 3, 2025. Gillibrand majorly focuses on the prosecution of sexual harassment cases. Health care, women's safety, and a transparent government are the highlights of her administration.
Also Known As: Kirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand
Spouse/Ex-: Jonathan Gillibrand (m. 2001)
father: Douglas Paul Rutnik
mother: Polly Edwina Rutnik
children: Henry Gillibrand, Theodore Gillibrand
Born Country: United States
Ancestry: Austrian American, German American, Irish American, British American
Notable Alumni: UCLA School Of Law
City: Albany, New York
U.S. State: New Yorkers
education: UCLA School of Law, Dartmouth College, Emma Willard, Beijing Normal University
Kirsten Gillibrand was born Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik, on December 9, 1966, in Albany, New York, U.S., to attorneys Polly Edwina Noonan and Douglas Paul Rutnik. Douglas has served former U.S. senator Al D'Amato. Gillibrand has an elder brother, Douglas Rutnik, and a younger sister, Erin Rutnik Tschantret. Her parents divorced in the late 1980s.
After graduating from the 'Emma Willard School' in 1984, she attended 'Dartmouth College,' where she was a 'Kappa Kappa Gamma' sorority member. She majored in Asian studies. She studied at the 'Beijing Normal University' and traveled to Taiwan, too. She interned at the Albany office of ‘Republican’ U.S. senator Alfonse D'Amato before graduating in 1988. She then received her Juris Doctor degree from the 'UCLA School of Law' and was admitted to the bar in 1991.
Till her time in college, Gillibrand used her nickname, "Tina," as her official name. After graduating law school, she began using her birth name.
Kirsten Gillibrand worked at 'Davis Polk & Wardwell' as an associate in 1991 and as a law clerk to Judge Roger Miner in Albany the following year.
While at 'Davis Polk' she was part of the defense team of the tobacco company 'Philip Morris.' The company executives were accused of lying while testifying before the congress, stating that they were unaware of the health hazards of smoking tobacco.
While working at 'Davis Polk,' Gillibrand led the 'Women's Leadership Forum,' launched by the 'Democratic National Committee.'
Kirsten Gillibrand began her political career in 1999, assisting Hillary Clinton's 2000 ‘U.S. Senate’ campaign. She primarily focused on endorsing Hillary among women, to bring in more female voters on her side. During the campaign, Clinton became Gillibrand's mentor. Gillibrand made a hefty donation to Clinton's campaign.
In 2000, she served as a special counsel to the 'Housing and Urban Development' (HUD) secretary Andrew Cuomo. In that capacity, she was part of the 'Labor Initiative,' the 'New Markets Initiative,' and 'Young Leaders of the American Democracy,' apart from being instrumental in the implementation of the 'Davis–Bacon Act.'
From 2001 to 2005, Gillibrand was a partner in the Manhattan office of the law firm 'Boies, Schiller & Flexner.'
Kirsten Gillibrand had planned to run for New York's 20th congressional district in 2004, against ‘Republican’ incumbent John E. Sweeney, who had already served the post for three terms. However, Clinton advised her to wait until 2006. Gillibrand did so and had an unbeaten run for the ‘House.’ She assumed her duties in 2007. She represented both the 'Democratic' and 'Working Families’ parties.
She directed former New York secretary of state Sandy Treadwell in the 2008 re-election. As a 'Blue Dog Coalition' caucus member, she voted against the 'Emergency Economic Stabilization Act' of 2008. She was the first 'Congress' member to make her official schedule, personal financial statement, and the details of all the requested funding or resources public, in a report that was named the 'Sunlight Report.' The media highly appreciated the move while 'The New York Times' mentioned it in an editorial.
During her tenure at the ‘House,’ Gillibrand served the committees on ‘Agriculture’ (chairing the subcommittee on ‘Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry’) and ‘Armed Services.’
Gillibrand represented the ‘House’ until January 26, 2009, and assumed office as the United States senator from New York the same day. After winning the 2010 re-election, she became the youngest elected senator.
While in the ‘Senate,’ Gillibrand served the committees on ‘Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry,’ ‘Armed Services,’ and ‘Environment and Public Works.’ She also held memberships in the ‘Healthy Kids,’ ‘International Conservation,’ ‘Senate Women,’ ‘Sportsmen,’ and ‘Afterschool’ caucuses.
Gillibrand emerged as a liberal ‘Democrat’ in contrast to her political orientation while serving the ‘House,’ where she was a 'Blue Dog' member.
As a senator, Gillibrand made stricter policies against sexual assault cases in the U.S. military. She revoked the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy that abolished the drafting of homosexuals in the military. As she had done after the 2018 re-election, Gillibrand advocated for transparent governance and encouraged publishing of earmarks, transactions, tax records, official schedules, and everything related to the administration.
She introduced legislations that increased the funding for health care and victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Kirsten Gillibrand won the re-election in 2012 and continued to take strict measures against sexual-assault cases. In 2014, she published a political memoir titled 'Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World.' The book was highly acclaimed for identifying sexism in the ‘Senate.’ The book also mentioned incidents in which Gillibrand had been body-shamed by her fellow 'Congress' members. The memoir made its way to the eighth spot of 'The New York Times Best Seller' list.
In 2017, Gillibrand introduced a bill to improve the handling of sexual-harassment cases by the legislature's ‘Office of Compliance.’ The bill was introduced amidst a sexual misconduct scandal in the 'Congress.'
Gillibrand had a smooth re-election in 2018. In 2019, she announced she would be representing the 'Democratic Party' in the presidential run in 2020. Despite her achievements as a senator, her weak campaigning failed to attract support. Hence, Gillibrand withdrew her nomination on August 28, after she was unable to qualify for the third round of the 'Democratic' primary debates.
Kirsten Gillibrand has been married to Jonathan Gillibrand, a venture capitalist, since 2001. They have two sons: Theodor, born in 2003, and Henry, born in 2008.