LOUDONVILLE — Former congressman Chris Gibson of Kinderhook has announced he will retire from Siena College after two years as its president.
His retirement is effective at the end of the spring semester in 2023.
“While I’ve shared my intention to retire next summer after the completion of the academic year, there is still much to do between now and then,” Gibson said in a statement put out Tuesday by the college. “I’m focused on leading Siena to provide a first-rate college experience both in and beyond the classroom, and advancing our strategic plan as we prepare our students to serve as leaders, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, to help make the world become more just, peaceful and humane.”
Gibson’s appointment as the college’s president-elect was announced on Feb. 14, 2020, and he immediately began work on the transition of power in that capacity. In March 2020 he was named chairman of Siena’s COVID Task Force. He officially became the 12th president of Siena on July 1, 2020, becoming the first lay person to lead the Franciscan college.
Calls to Gibson and Siena Director of Public and Government Affairs Lisa Witkowski for further comment were not immediately answered.
Gibson graduated from Siena in 1986 and enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the First Gulf War, Kosovo and Iraq and rising to the rank of colonel. He later taught American politics at West Point and was a national security affairs fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
He received four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart among other awards while in military service. He also holds a Ph.D in government from Cornell University. In 2008, he published his first book, “Securing the State,” which concerned his overview on national security policy decisions.
Gibson retired from military service in 2010 to run for Congress. He defeated Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy with 55% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2014. In January 2015, Gibson, a supporter of term limits, announced that he would not seek re-election in 2016.
Originally seen as a possible candidate for governor in 2018, Gibson announced he would not run. He served as the 19th District representative from 2011 to 2017 when he left politics to become the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College from 2017 to 2020.
Siena Board of Directors Chairman Thomas J. Baldwin Jr. praised Gibson’s leadership during his tenure as president.
“The college has flourished under his leadership,” Baldwin said in a statement. “Chris masterfully led Siena during the pandemic and through the development of our new strategic plan. The board looks forward to working with him until his last day leading Siena forward.”
The board has started to formulate a plan to choose Gibson’s successor and ensure a smooth transition, Baldwin said.