Who’s Who in Defense: Kirsten Gillibrand, Chair, SASC Personnel Subcommittee – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense

Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York


  • Gillibrand chairs a subcommittee with jurisdiction over matters relating to DoD military and civilian personnel policy, including military health care, education, compensation and benefits.

Legislative Committees / Caucuses / Bills

  • Member of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forests Committee.
  • Chair of the Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Local Food Systems and Food Safety Committee and Security subcommittee.
  • Member of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Sub-Committee.
  • Member of Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics and Research Subcommittee.
  • Member of the commodities, risk management and trade sub-committee.
  • Co-sponsored law on improving military justice and increasing prevention of 2021 which would remove sexual assault cases from military jurisdiction.

Political / professional career

  • Member of the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009.
  • Selected as New York State Senator after Hillary Clinton left the seat to accept an appointment as Secretary of State from President Barack Obama in 2009.
  • Won a special election in 2010 to retain the Senate position. Re-elected in full terms in 2012 and 2018.
  • Ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
  • Re-election in 2024.


  • UCLA Law School, JD Diploma – 1991.
  • Dartmouth College, Baccalaureate, magna cum laude – 1988.


  • Born Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik on December 9, 1966 in Albany, NY. Grew up in New York.
  • Married to British venture capitalist Jonathan Gillibrand in 2001. They have two sons.
  • Her father, Douglas Rutnick, was a lawyer and lobbyist. His mother, Polly Noonan Rutnik, also worked in law. His maternal grandmother, Dorothea “Polly” Noonan, was involved in Albany politics. Two siblings.

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