Siena College Names Former Congressman Chris Gibson President

Gibson will be the college's first lay person to hold the post in its history.

Siena College's new president, Chris Gibson. (Siena College)

In a historic divergence from tradition, former US Representative Chris Gibson has been named Siena College’s 12th president, the first non-friar to hold the office in the college’s history.

A Siena College graduate, Gibson returns to Loudonville after a successful career, which has included time in the military, political office and academia. “Siena played an instrumental role in shaping my values and ideals, and I’m forever indebted to the faculty and staff, including the many friars who have been so influential in my life,” says Gibson. “The connection I developed to the Franciscan tradition as an undergraduate inspired my personal calling to servant leadership. The Franciscan tradition sets Siena apart, and it will inform every decision as I work with the Siena community to advance the legacy of my predecessors and promote the mission of Siena College.”

After graduating from Siena in 1986, Gibson received an M.A., M.P.A, and PhD in Government from Cornell University. He then spent 29 years in the US army, rising to the rank of colonel and receiving four Bronze Star Medals, a Purple Heart and two Legions of Merit. Following his military service, Gibson served as a Republican US Representative from 2011-2017. Most recently, Gibson was a Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College. He’s also the author of two books, Securing the State: Reforming the National Security Decision-making Process at the Civil Military Nexus (2008) and Rally Point: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream (2017).

“I’m deeply grateful to the Board for the high privilege of serving as Siena’s next president, and I’m sincerely humbled to have been appointed as the College’s first permanent lay leader,” says Gibson.

He currently resides in Kinderhook with his wife and three children. He will officially begin his role at Siena on July 1.

Morgan Fechter

Morgan Fechter is Staff Writer at Saratoga Living. She's a recent graduate of Skidmore College.

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