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MAKERS Profile

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator (D-New York)

More From Kirsten

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Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator for New York, discusses how she entered politics and public service.

Kirsten's Biography

Homegrown: She grew up outside of Albany, in the same district she represented as Congresswoman.
Role Models: Her mother and grandmother
Moment of Inspiration: Hearing Hillary Clinton's famous remarks at the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, in 1995.
Eastern Influence: She majored in Asian Studies at Dartmouth, and is functionally fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Kirsten Gillibrand is a United States Senator from New York and a member of the Democratic Party. Prior to her career in politics, she worked as a securities lawyer in New York City for more than a decade. As a member of a politically active family, Gillibrand wanted to have a voice in politics, and decided to leave her Manhattan job to work in Washington D.C. as Special Counsel for Andrew Cuomo, then-United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Clinton Administration.
Gillibrand decided to run for office in Albany, and was twice elected to the United States House of Representatives (2007-2009). In her first congressional election, she won against the four-term incumbent, John E. Sweeney, receiving 53% of the vote. When President Barack Obama appointed Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State, Governor Paterson appointed Gillibrand to this seat in the U.S. Senate. Gillibrand was required to run a special election in 2010, winning with 63% of the vote. Her most recent campaign, ""Off the Sidelines,"" encourages women to make an impact in politics through voting, advocacy and running for office.

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