Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik Gillibrand (born December 9, 1966) is the junior United States Senator from New York and a member of the Democratic Party. She was elected twice to the United States House of Representatives, representing New York’s 20th congressional district from January 3, 2007 to January 26, 2009. She was the first female representative of the district and the first Democrat to represent the district since Edward W. Pattison left office in 1979. She was also a member of the Blue Dog Coalition during her tenure in the House.
On January 23, 2009, Gillibrand was appointed by Governor David Paterson to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who assumed the office of United States Secretary of State in the Obama administration. Gillibrand is widely considered to be a centrist Democrat, appealing to Republican and conservative Democratic voters in upstate New York. At 42, Gillibrand is the youngest member of the U.S. Senate. She is the second female U.S. Senator from New York.