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Chris Gibson (New York politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chris Gibson
President of Siena College
In office
July 1, 2020 – May 31, 2023
Preceded byEd Coughlin[1]
Succeeded byCharles Seifert
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2017
Preceded byScott Murphy
Succeeded byJohn Faso
Constituency20th district (2011–2013)
19th district (2013–2017)
Personal details
Christopher Patrick Gibson

(1964-05-13) May 13, 1964 (age 60)
Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseMary Jo Gibson
EducationSiena College (BA)
Cornell University (MPA, MA, PhD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1986–2010
Rank Colonel
Commands2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division
2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsPersian Gulf War
Kosovo Force
Operation Iraqi Freedom
AwardsLegion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star (4)
Purple Heart
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge with star
Master Parachutist Badge
Ranger tab

Christopher Patrick Gibson (born May 13, 1964) is an American politician, author, professor, college administrator, and former officer in the United States Army. A Republican, Gibson served as the U.S. representative for New York's 20th congressional district from 2011 to 2013 and for New York's 19th congressional district from 2013 to 2017.

A lifelong resident of Kinderhook, New York, Gibson joined the United States Army in 1986 after graduating from Siena College.[2] He served tours in the First Gulf War, Kosovo, and Iraq, rising to the rank of colonel. He later taught American politics at West Point and was a national security affairs fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.[3] He has received four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, among other awards while in the military.[4] He also holds a Ph.D. in government from Cornell University. In 2008, he published his first book, Securing the State, which offered his overview on national security decision-making.

He retired from the United States Army in 2010 to run for Congress, defeating Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy with 55% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2014. In January 2015, Gibson, a supporter of term limits, announced that he would not seek re-election in 2016. Originally seen as a possible candidate for governor in 2018, Gibson announced he would not run. He served as the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College from February 2017 until 2020.[5][6][7]

In February 2020, Siena College, Gibson’s alma mater, announced he would be the school’s 12th president becoming the first lay person to lead the Franciscan institution. He immediately went to work as President-Elect and led the college’s COVID Working Group. During his three-year tenure as President, he helped lead the college to record enrollments, balanced budgets, the successful launching of a new strategic plan, new and improved facilities, while earning various national recognitions, including being named among the “top 20” best Catholic Colleges in the U.S. (#9 for 2023) according to the source, College Consensus and listed among Conde Nast’s “50 most beautiful campuses.” He retired from that position on May 31, 2023.[8][9][10]

Early life, education, and academic career


Gibson was born in Rockville Centre, New York, to Robert and Barbara Gibson. His family moved to Kinderhook, south of Albany, at a young age. He attended Ichabod Crane High School there, where he was a point guard and the co-captain of the basketball team. He then attended Siena College in Loudonville, also near Albany, earning an ROTC Commission and graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in history.[11][12]

Upon graduation from Siena, Gibson accepted an active-duty commission with the United States Army as an infantry officer. While in the Army, Gibson ultimately rose to the rank of colonel, serving seven tours including four combat tours in Iraq, Kosovo, the American Southwest in counter-narcotics interdiction, and in 2010 to Haiti after the earthquake. In Haiti, he led the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team during the first month of the humanitarian effort.[11][3]

Throughout his career, Gibson earned a number of military decorations, including a Purple Heart, 4 Bronze Stars, 2 Legions of Merit, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Combat Infantryman's Badge with Star, and the Ranger tab. His units also received awards for their actions in Mosul in support of the first Iraqi national elections his Battalion Task Force earned the Valorous Unit Award. Later in Tal Afar, his battalion and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment were recognized for excellence by the President of the United States and earned a second Valorous Unit Award.[13][failed verification]. Gibson was selected as the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.[citation needed]

Gibson earned an MPA, a MA, and a Ph.D. in government, all from Cornell University.[14] He then became a professor of American politics at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also served as the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College[6] and was a National Security fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University where he wrote a book on Civil-Military relations, Securing the State.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives





External media
image icon Gibson Campaign Flickr photostream
video icon Gibson-Murphy debate, WMHT, October 21, 2010

Gibson challenged Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy for the 20th Congressional district seat in the House of Representatives and won on November 4, 2010.

While there were initially four candidates for the GOP nomination, the other three all dropped their bid, with one of them, Patrick Ziegler, joining Gibson's staff as his campaign manager.[15][16] The uncontested Republican and Conservative candidate, Gibson outraised Murphy in his first full quarter in the campaign, and was a GOP Young Gun.[17][18]

A supporter of term limits, Gibson promised to serve no more than four terms. He also called for representatives to be limited to eight years in office, with terms being extended from two years to four, which he called a "creative way" to address campaign finance reform without "impeding" free speech.[19]

Beginning in September, Gibson saw a steady rise in polling numbers: he started behind at 37% compared to Murphy's 54%. However, by October 26, Gibson had risen to 51% and Murphy had fallen to 42%, numbers that more closely reflected the actual outcome. [citation needed] Newsweek described Gibson's win as a combination of running as a Republican in "perhaps the most conservative [district] in the state"[Note 1] and Murphy having supported "the two biggest items on Nancy Pelosi's agenda", regardless of the fact that "the National Journal had characterized his voting record as one of the 10 most moderate in the House".[21]

Gibson took part in a televised debate with Murphy on October 21, presented by the local PBS station, WMHT.[22] Gibson began the campaign at 17 points behind in the polls but ended up winning the election with 55% of the vote.[23]



During his first term, Gibson represented a district that stretched from the outer suburbs of New York City through the Adirondacks and outer Capital District suburbs all the way to Lake Placid. After the 2010 census, Gibson's district was renumbered as the 19th district. It lost most of its vast northern portion, including Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs and Lake Placid. To make up for the loss in population, it was shifted slightly west, absorbing some suburbs of Binghamton. Gibson defeated former federal prosecutor and Ulster County Democratic Party chairman, Julian Schreibman. Gibson was endorsed by all the major newspapers in the district, including the Albany Times Union,[24] the Kingston Daily Freeman,[25] the Poughkeepsie Journal, and the Oneonta Daily Star.



Gibson was challenged by Democrat Sean Eldridge in the general election. During the campaign, he reiterated his pledge not to serve more than four terms in office.[26] He won re-election[27] with 62.6% of the vote to Eldridge's 34.5%.[28] He was outspent nearly 3-to-1 by his opponent.[29]



After winning the election in 2010, Gibson was sworn into office in January 2011 as part of the 112th Congress. He immediately voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Gibson joined nearly all other Republican members of the US House of Representatives in voting to support The Path to Prosperity, the budget put forward by U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI).[30]

The next year he joined nine other Republicans in voting against Ryan's budget, and he supported the Cooper-LaTourette Budget, loosely based on the President's Fiscal Commission Simpson Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force. Gibson said he wouldn't re-sign Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge, but he remains opposed to raising tax rates.[31] After Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee hit the 20th District in 2011, Gibson focused on getting federal aid to his constituents.[32]

Gibson made a name for himself focusing on local issues like expanding access to broadband and better treatment of Lyme disease. He held a forum on Lyme disease in Saratoga Springs that attracted 500 people, including patients, medical experts, and environmental professionals.[33] He has been an advocate for passage of the 2012 Farm Bill, even signing a discharge petition to bring the bill to a vote in the House.[34]

Gibson supported reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.[35]

On January 5, 2015, Gibson announced that he would not run for re-election in 2016.[36] He said that he might run for statewide office in 2018, when the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller and Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand's senate seat will be up for election.[37][38]

On same-sex marriage, he supports equal protection of unions and believes that the decision on marriage should be left to religious institutions, protecting religious freedoms. He called on the Supreme Court to provide clarity for equal protection and religious freedom, reversing a common position of conservatives against judicial activism.[39]

Committee assignments


Following his swearing in, Gibson became a member of the following House committees:[40]

Gibson also later became a member of Committee on Small Business.[41]

Political leanings


In Congress, Gibson was a member of both the conservative Republican Study Committee and the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership. Gibson was ranked as the 3rd most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the third most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York after Peter T. King and Richard L. Hanna) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).[42]

Personal life


Gibson lives in Kinderhook with his wife, Mary Jo, and their three children. The family is Roman Catholic and attends St. John's Catholic Church in Valatie.[43]

Written works

  • Gibson, Chris. (2017). Rally Point: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream. ISBN 9781538760574
  • Gibson, Christopher P. (2008). Securing the State: Reforming the National Security Decisionmaking Process at the Civil-Military Nexus. Burlington, Vermont: Hanover Institution. ISBN 978-0-7546-7290-6.
  • Gibson, Christopher P. (1998). Countervailing Forces: Enhancing Civilian Control and National Security Through Madisonian Concepts (PhD thesis). Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. OCLC 64748644.
  • Gibson, Christopher P.; Don M. Snider (1997). "Explaining Post-Cold War Civil-Military Relations: a New Institutionalist Approach". Working Papers Series: U.S. Post-Cold War Civil-Military Relations. 08. Harvard University John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. OCLC 37535789.


  1. ^ The New York State Board of Elections reported that Republicans outnumbered Democrats in the district by more than 60,000 on November 1, 2010 (187,780 registered Republicans versus 126,774 registered Democrats).[20] After redistricting in 2002, then-Congressman John E. Sweeney was quoted as saying that "no Republican can ever lose" the district.[21]


  1. ^ "Past Presidents".
  2. ^ "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b Staff (March 12, 2012). "Colonel Chris Gibson". Hoover Institute. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  4. ^ Staff (2012). "Congressman Chris Gibson". Candidates. Combat Veterans For Congress Political Action Committee. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  5. ^ "Rep. Chris Gibson won't run for NY governor, exiting politics". syracuse.com. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  6. ^ a b "Leadership Studies: Chris Gibson". leadership-studies.williams.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  7. ^ "Professor Chris Gibson chosen as 12th president of Siena College". The Williams Record.
  8. ^ Silberstein, Rachel (2020-02-14). "Former U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson picked as next Siena president". Times Union. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  9. ^ "Gibson begins as Siena College president". HudsonValley360.com. 2020-07-10.
  10. ^ https://www.syracuse.com/schools/2020/08/syracuse-colgate-siena-named-among-50-most-beautiful-college-campuses-in-america.html https://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-catholic-colleges/#:~:text=Top%2050%20Consensus%20Ranked%20Catholic%20Schools%202023%20April,of%20the%20Holy%20Cross%205%20Santa%20Clara%20University https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/new-york-s-small-liberal-arts-colleges-surviving-17881101.php
  11. ^ a b Robert Lachman (March 7, 2010). "Kinderhook Republican to challenge Murphy for House seat". Hudson-Catskill Newspapers. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  12. ^ Zeller, Shawn (November 6, 2010). "112th Congress: Chris Gibson, R-N.Y. (20th District)". Congressional Quarterly. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  13. ^ a b The Hoover Institute (2010). "Colonel Chris Gibson". The Hoover Institute. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  14. ^ Lowery, George (2010-11-08). "Nine alumni run for – and mostly win – national offices". Cornell Chronicle. Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  15. ^ Maury Thompson (March 26, 2010). "Chris Gibson has lock on GOP endorsement in 20th district". The Post Star. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  16. ^ Jimmy Vielkind (April 5, 2010). "Gibson hires Ziegler, who has endorsed Gibson". The Times Union. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  17. ^ Jimmy Vielkind (July 13, 2010). "Gibson outraises Murphy, Murphy has way more cash (updated)". The Times Union. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  18. ^ Jeremy P. Jacobs (August 31, 2010). "NRCC Names 6 New Young Guns". National Journal. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  19. ^ Maury Thompson (August 4, 2010). "Gibson vows to seek term limits if elected". Post Star. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  20. ^ "NYSVoter Enrollment by Congressional District, Party Affiliation and Status" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 2010-11-01. p. 9. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  21. ^ a b Roske, Tim (3 November 2010). "Murphy's Law: One Democrat's defeat explains how the party lost the House". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  22. ^ New York's 20th Congressional District Debate. North Greenbush, New York: WMHT. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  23. ^ Leigh Hornbeck and Dennis Yusko (November 3, 2010). "Gibson defeats Murphy in 20th". The Albany Times-Union. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  24. ^ "Our picks for Congress – The Observation Deck". Blog.timesunion.com. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  25. ^ "EDITORIAL: Chris Gibson for Congress". Dailyfreeman.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  26. ^ Ariel Zangla (August 19, 2014). "U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson pushes back against Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge". Daily Freeman News. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  27. ^ Zangla, Ariel (November 4, 2014). "Rep. Chris Gibson defeats Sean Eldridge to secure third term in House". Daily Freeman.
  28. ^ "2014 NY Congressional Election Results" (PDF). NYS Board of Elections. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  29. ^ Kirchick, James (December 8, 2014). "The Rise and Fall of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge, America's Worst Gay Power Couple". Daily Beast. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  30. ^ "House Vote 277 – Passes Ryan Budget Bill". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  31. ^ Mahoney, Joe (28 November 2012). "Gibson disavows Norquist tax pledge » Local News – » The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports". Thedailystar.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  32. ^ "Capitol Confidential » Gibson: 'This is going to take our very best effort'". Blog.timesunion.com. 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  33. ^ "Skidmore hosts Lyme disease forum". YNN. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  34. ^ "Braley Leads Bipartisan Coalition to Launch Farm Bill Discharge Petition Effort | Congressman Bruce Braley". Braley.house.gov. 2012-08-02. Archived from the original on 2014-08-09. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  35. ^ Jennifer Bendery (11 December 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post.
  36. ^ "New York Rep. Gibson won't run for reelection". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  37. ^ "Gibson: This term will be my last". Troy Record. January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  38. ^ Dan Friedman (January 7, 2015). "GOP Rep. Chris Gibson eyes 2018 bid for New York Governor". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  39. ^ "Gibson Says He Backs 'Equal Protection'". www.nystateofpolitics.com. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  40. ^ Vielkind, Jimmy. "Riding the Republican Wave". Times Union (Albany). Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  41. ^ "Small Business Committee Announces Majority Members". Small Business Committee. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  42. ^ The Lugar Center – McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017
  43. ^ Chris Gibson for Congress (2010). "About". Chris Gibson for Congress. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative