Christopher P. Gibson ‘86, Ph.D. became the 12th president of Siena College on July 1, 2020. He
is the first permanent lay leader in Siena’s history, and serves on the faculty as a professor of
Dr. Gibson was previously the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American
Foreign Policy at Williams College from 2017-2020, where he taught Leadership and Political
Change, The Politics of American National Security, and Trump and the Future of American
He is a member of the Hoover Institution’s Working Group on the Role of Military History in
Contemporary Conflict, a Visiting Fellow with 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.
Dr. Gibson also taught the following courses at the United States Military Academy at West
Point: Introduction to American Politics, The American Presidency, U.S. Civil-Military Relations,
and Public Policymaking.
He was a Hoover National Security Affairs Fellow with Stanford University from 2006-2007, and
a Georgetown University/Army Congressional Fellow from 2002-2004.
Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University, 1998
Dissertation: Countervailing Forces: Enhancing Civilian Control and National Security Through
Madisonian Concepts , Cornell University, 1998
Cornell University nominee for the American Political Science Association’s Schattschneider
Dissertation Prize for Academic Year 1997-1998
Committee Members: Dr. Elizabeth Sanders (Chair), Dr. Theodore J. Lowi, Dr. Judith Reppy, and Dr. Tom Christenson Available through UMI Dissertation Services, UMI Number 9818266
M.A. in Government from Cornell University, 1996
M.P.A. from Cornell University, 1995
B.A. in History from Siena College , magna cum laude, 1986 (Washington Semester Program,
American University, Fall 1985. Concentration: American Foreign Policy)
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, State University of New York, 2017
From 2011-2017, Dr. Gibson served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (NY-19).
In Congress, he was recognized for statesmanship, finishing first among all House
representatives of both political parties in the inaugural report of the Lugar Policy Center
Bipartisan Index in 2014 and serving as one of the co-chairs of the bipartisan caucus “No
He served on the House Armed Services, Small Business, and Agriculture committees, and
played an integral role crafting important legislation in strengthening national security,
supporting veterans, revitalizing infrastructure, supporting family farmers, advancing rural
economic development, recovering from devastating hurricanes, expanding broadband, fighting
Lyme disease, enhancing mental health, and reforming education policy.
His Congressional awards include:
● New York State Farm Bureau “Friend of the Farmer”
● National Federation of Independent Business “Guardian of Small Business”
● American Mental Health Counselors Association “Legislator of the Year”
● John F. Seiberling Award for Conservation: “Friend of the National Parks”
● First Focus “Champion of Children Award”
● New York National Guard “Patriot Award”
● “Good Scout Award” from the Twin Rivers Boy Scout Council and the “Distinguished
Citizen Award” from the Rip Van Winkle and Leatherstocking Boy Scout Councils
Dr. Gibson spent 29 years in the military where he rose to the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army.
In his last assignment, he commanded the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade, leading them
to Haiti on a humanitarian relief operation after the devastating earthquake there in 2010. He
served four combat tours in Iraq.
His military honors include two Legions of Merit, four Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart,
seven Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Combat
Infantryman’s Badge with Star, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge,
and the Ranger Tab. He received the Order of Saint Maurice in 2004 for significant contributions
to the Infantry.
In addition, the units he commanded at the Battalion and Brigade levels earned two Valorous
Unit Awards (for combat action in Iraq) and the Army Superior Unit Award (for humanitarian
service in Haiti), respectively.
U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, 2000
● George C. Marshall Award Winner as top graduate in his class
● Grierson Award for top strategist
● Historian (additional skill identifier 5X) and Strategist (additional skill identifier 6Z)
Rally Point: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream (New York:
Twelve Books, 2017)
Drawn from a deep appreciation of history and American exceptionalism, Rally Point provides
incisive and frank analysis of the current political environment, including President Trump, and
provides a roadmap based on time-tested Founding principles to help unite our country and
revitalize the American Dream.
Securing the State: Reforming the National Security Decision-making Process at the
Civil-Military Nexus (Hampshire, England: Ashgate, 2008)
Focusing on top civilian and military advisors within the national security establishment,
Securing the State looks at four case studies with a focus on civil-military relations within the
U.S. Department of Defense. It investigates whether balanced approaches produce more
effective policies and outcomes than dominating structures. The culmination of Dr. Gibson's
treatise is the advancement of the “Madisonian approach,” which calls for changes in U.S. law
and new norms to guide the interactions of key participants who populate the civil-military
Securing the State is used at the Army War College, the Command & General Staff College and
several U.S. colleges and universities.
“Enhancing National Security and Civilian Control of the Military: An Argument for a Madisonian
Approach” in American Civil-Military Relations 50 Years after Samuel Huntington’s The Soldier
and the State, edited by Don M. Snider and Suzanne Nielson, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, October 2009). This edited volume is used by several colleges and universities
across the country for courses on civil-military relations.
Journal Articles, Working Papers and Special Projects
“Still Exceptional,” Hoover Digest No. 1 (Winter 2019-20): 60-64.
“The Indispensable Partnership,” Hoover Digest No. 3 (Summer 2007): 101-112.
“Battlefield Victories and Strategic Success,” Military Review (October-November 2006): 47-59.
Reprinted in the premiere French Military journal, Les Cahiers du CESAT (October 2007). This
article has been included as part of the curriculum for counter-insurgency courses and
conferences at War Colleges and Military Academies.
“The Soldier and Congress,” with Matthew Moten. Military Review, (March-April 1999): 65-68.
Special Project Coordinator/Editor for the Special Edition of Military Review dedicated to
Army-Congressional Affairs, 1999.
“Civil-Military Relations and the Potential to Influence: A Look at the National Security
Decision-Making Process,” with Dr. Don M. Snider, Armed Forces & Society, Vol. 25, No. 2
(Winter 1999): 193-218.
“Explaining Post-Cold War Civil-Military Relations: A New Institutionalist Approach,” with Dr.
Don M. Snider, Harvard Project on Post-Cold War Civil-Military Relations, Working Paper #8,
John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, 1997.
Michael Desch’s, Civilian Control of the Military: The Changing Security Environment. The
review was published in Military Review, (March-April 2001): 104-105.
Opinion-Editorial pieces (partial listing)
“Educated move forward,” Albany Times Union (May 17, 2020)
“Refining U.S. Strategy in the Mediterranean.” Strategika, Issue 62, (January 10, 2020)
“Principled Realism and the Monroe Doctrine,” Strategika, Issue 60, (September 6, 2019)
“Securing the Border while preserving the Constitution & American Exceptionalism,” Albany
Times Union (February 17, 2019)
“We must address national debt crisis,” w/ former US REP Jim Slattery (D-KS), Topeka
Capital-Journal (December 17, 2018)
“The looming fiscal crisis,” with former US REP Jim Slattery (D-KS), Albany Times Union
(December 2, 2018)
“Towards a new American Grand Strategy based on principled realism,” Strategika, Issue 55,
(November 15, 2018)
“The Way Forward with Putin and Russia,” Strategika, Issue 53, (September 5, 2018)
“The Spirit of Philadelphia,” Poughkeepsie Journal (July 4, 2018)
“Millennials Will Step Up,” Albany Times Union (June 17, 2018)
“’We the People’ Must Unite: How we can ‘drain the swamp,’” Albany Times Union (April 22,
“A Season of Life’s Lessons,” Albany Times Union (March 25, 2018)
“Reflections on President’s Day,” Albany Times Union (February 18, 2018)
“Restoring the Greatness of the Hudson River,” Hudson Valley 360 (February 2, 2018)
“The Coming Reckoning,” Albany Times Union (January 21, 2018)
“Continued Presence in Afghanistan Costly,” Albany Times Union (August 26, 2017)
“The Path Forward after Charlottesville,” Poughkeepsie Journal (August 17, 2017)
“Peacefully resolving the North Korean crisis with strong American Leadership,” Albany Times
Union (August 13, 2017)
“Posture Act will end U.S. Land Forces drawdown,” with U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), AUSA News
“The way forward v. the Islamist State,” Poughkeepsie Journal (February 16, 2015)
“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, a call to action,” The Hill (March 7, 2014).
“High-speed broadband access is critical…” with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Education Week
News (February 18, 2014).
“Our land, our legacy, our responsibility,” with U.S. Rep. Jared Hoffman (D-CA) The Hill
(February 4, 2014).
“Empowering local schools: the case for reform,” Troy Record (November 26, 2013).
“Working together: from Haiti to Congress,” with U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Times Herald
Record (July 24, 2013).
“Military is poised for reform,” Albany Times Union (January 22, 2012).