UCLA Law alumna Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed Jan. 23 by New York Gov. David A. Paterson to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by new Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Prior to her appointment, Gillibrand had been serving her second term as U.S. representative to New York's 20th congressional district, representing counties across upstate New York.
"I am delighted that one of our alumni has been selected to serve in the United States Senate," said School of Law Dean Michael H. Schill. "Senator Gillibrand is an active member of the UCLA Law family. She embodies much of what this law school is about — service to the public and the broader community."
A 1991 graduate of the law school, Gillibrand defeated a well-known four-term Republican incumbent in 2006 to win her seat in Congress, her first public office. She served on the House Armed Services Committee and the Agriculture Committee. In addition to her committee assignments, Gillibrand founded the Congressional High Tech Caucus, with U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), with the goal of ensuring that the United States remains at the forefront of emerging technologies and high-tech industries.
During President Clinton's administration, Gillibrand served as special counsel to former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo. She later joined the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, where, in addition to her responsibilities at the firm, she maintained an extensive pro-bono practice, working on behalf of abused women and children, and tenants seeking safe affordable housing.
Gillibrand has remained active at UCLA Law and has participated in law school alumni events, including a panel discussion last September in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., a 1995 graduate of the law school.
She received a B.A. degree in Asian studies from Dartmouth College and currently lives in Hudson, N.Y., with her husband and two children.
"Senator Gillibrand's UCLA School of Law family proudly wishes her well in her newest endeavor," Schill said.