Capital Cornellians: Rep. Chris Gibson

Rep. Gibson, right, with Eric and Tim Ooms at the A. Ooms & Sons Dairy Farm near Valatie, New York.


Rep. Chris Gibson, MPA ’95, M.A. ’96, Ph.D. ’98, represents
New York state’s 20th Congressional district.

Why D.C.? Following my retirement from the Army in 2010, my family and I returned home to Kinderhook and I ran for Congress. I’m here most weeks, meeting with constituents, voting in the house chamber, and trying to bring people together to advance policies that improve our quality of life, make it easier to farm and run a small business, and protect our freedoms.

What’s the best part about being in the House? While I deeply appreciate the privilege of working in the Capitol, which is filled with extraordinary art and architecture that celebrates our achievements and tells the story of our nation, my fondest memories of this job will be of the days I spent on the road in the Hudson Valley and Catskills. I have a tremendous opportunity to learn about how we make our way in the world – in our schools, hospitals, shops and farms. Engaging with my neighbors and having the opportunity to make a real difference in their lives is the most important and most gratifying part of my work.

What would Ezra say about today’s political climate? Ezra witnessed the darkest days of our nation before and during the Civil War. I think he’d be delighted to see how far we’ve come. 

How Chris brings Cornell to D.C.: My time in Ithaca has had a profound impact on my life as a soldier and legislator, giving me a deeper understanding of the origins of the United States, the brilliance of the founders and how government works. I see folks from Cornell all the time on the Hill, and it’s a tremendous honor to support their projects and continue learning from them as a member of congress.