Gabrielle Giffords

Former Congresswoman

U.S. House of Representatives

For more than 15 years, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has dedicated herself to public service. As the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, she represented her community in the Arizona Legislature from 2000-2005, and then in Congress from 2006-2012. Her success was credited to her reliance on kindness, candor and hard, grueling work.

In Congress, Rep. Giffords represented a diverse area that covers 9,000 square miles, including a 114-mile border with Mexico. She quickly became a leading champion of border security, energy independence, and the needs of military families and veterans. Consistently ranked as one of the most centrist legislators in Congress, she is a strong supporter of fiscal responsibility, bipartisanship and government accountability. The former congresswoman, who was first a registered Republican, considers herself a moderate Democrat.

On January 8, 2011, at a “Congress On Your Corner” event in Tucson with her constituents, Rep. Giffords was shot in the head from near point-blank range. In stepping down from Congress in January 2012, she said, “I will return, and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.”

In 2013, former Rep. Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, founded Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence to encourage elected officials to stand up for laws that make communities safer from gun violence. They work to ensure leaders across the country cannot forget that Americans are demanding solutions to save lives from gun violence.

A third-generation Arizonan and longtime gun owner, former Rep. Giffords believes in the constitutional right of all Americans to safe and responsible gun ownership.

The former congresswoman holds a master’s degree in regional planning from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College, where she was awarded a William Fulbright Scholarship to study for a year in Chihuahua, Mexico. She resides in her beloved hometown of Tucson.

Former Rep. Giffords and Capt. Kelly will speak at the Civic 50 Gala.

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