A look back at the life of Kirsten Gillibrand, Democratic senator from New York and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
Date of Birth: December 9, 1966
Place of birth: Albany, New York
Birth name: Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik
Dad: Douglas Paul Rutnik, lawyer and lobbyist
Mother: Polly (Noonan) Rutnik, lawyer
Wedding: Jonathan Gillibrand
Children: Theodore and Henry
Education: Dartmouth College, AB, 1988 (Asian Studies); University of California, Los Angeles, JD, 1991
His first name is pronounced “Keer-sten”.
Speaks Mandarin Chinese. She studied in Taiwan and China during her undergraduate studies at Dartmouth.
Was one of the main forces behind legislation that would remove sexual assault allegations from the army’s chain of command, allowing a prosecutor, not the commander, to deal with them.
Introduced a universal paid family leave bill each year between 2014 and 2019.
Was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition in Congress.
Prior to her appointment to the Senate, she held Conservative positions on gun control and immigration. She has since apologized and expressed remorse for her past.
1991-2000 – Partner at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. During her tenure with the law firm, she represented the tobacco company Philip Morris.
2000 – Special Advisor to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo.
2001-2005 – Works for the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.
January 3, 2007 – January 26, 2009 – Represents New York’s 20th congressional district, a traditionally Republican area surrounding Albany. Gillibrand won 53% of the vote against four-term incumbent John Sweeney (R).
January 23, 2009 – Appointed by Governor David Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton’s seat in the United States Senate in New York when Clinton was named Secretary of State. She resigned her seat in the House and was sworn in as a United States senator three days later.
2010 – Wins the special primary election for her appointed seat in the New York Senate with 76% of the vote, defeating Gail Goode.
2012 – Is re-elected to the Senate with 72% of the vote.
September 9, 2014 – His memoirs, “Off the Sidelines,” are published.
November 15, 2017 – Announcing a bill to reform the handling of sexual misconduct allegations by congressional office staff. The 2017 Congressional Harassment Reform Act would make it easier for victims to speak out about their experiences and require annual sexual harassment trainings for all staff.
December 6, 2017 – Is the first of 32 Democratic senators to call for Al Franken’s resignation after allegations of sexual misconduct by at least six women were made public.
2018 – Is re-elected to the Senate with 67% of the vote.
January 16, 2019 – Announces that she is forming an exploratory committee for the 2020 presidential race.
March 11, 2019 – Gillibrand is defending its handling of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations made against a senior executive in July 2018. The accuser told Gillibrand, his chief of staff Jess Fassler and general counsel Keith Castaldo that she was offering his resignation “due to the poor quality of the investigation”. and the post-investigation was handled,” according to a letter obtained by CNN and first reported by Politico.
March 17, 2019 – Officially declares his Democratic candidacy for president via YouTube.
August 28, 2019 – Gillibrand announces that she is ending her presidential campaign with a video posted on social media.
March 3, 2022 – Biden signs the 2021 law ending forced arbitration of sexual assault and sexual harassment after Gillibrand and other bipartisan lawmakers worked for more than four years to pass the biggest workplace reform in decades. The law allows victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault to seek justice in court when they were previously tied to a closed and often secret judicial arbitration process.