Christopher P. Gibson '86, Ph.D. – a scholar of leadership and politics, decorated combat veteran and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives – was elected by the Board of Trustees and announced as the 12th president of Siena College on February 14, 2020. Within a couple of weeks, he went to work leading the COVID task force. He is the first permanent lay leader in Siena’s history, and serves on the faculty as a professor of leadership.
Dr. Gibson is a member of the Hoover Institution’s Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict, a visiting fellow with the Catholic University’s Center for the Study of Statesmanship, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the Bipartisan Review, a project with Cornell University’s Institute of Politics. He was the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College from 2017-20.
Dr. Gibson served district NY-19 in the U.S. House of Representatives for three terms from 2011-2017. He finished first among all House representatives of both political parties in the inaugural report of the Lugar Policy Center Bipartisan Index in 2014, and served as one of the co-chairs of the bi-partisan caucus “No Labels.”
He is a 29-year decorated military veteran who rose to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army. He commanded the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade, leading them to Haiti on a humanitarian relief operation after the 2010 earthquake. He served four combat tours in Iraq and was part of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.
He is the author of two books, including his most recent work Rally Point: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream.
He holds a B.A. in history from Siena, and an M.A., M.P.A. and Ph.D. in government, all from Cornell University.
He resides in Kinderhook, N.Y. with his wife, Mary Jo, and their three children.