Global Vice Chairman & Chairman of America of APCEO
Former Chairman of the House International Relations Committee
Benjamin Gilman was born on December 6, 1922 in Poughkeepsie, New York. He graduated from Middletown High School in Middletown, New York in 1941 and received a B.S. from the Wharton School of Business and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946. He also earned an LL.B. from New York Law School. Gilman served in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942 until 1945 during World War II. During that conflict, he flew 35 missions over Japan, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters.
From 1953 until 1955, he served as assistant attorney general to the New York State attorney general, following this, he practiced law privately in his hometown of Middletown, New York. Gilman was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1967 until 1972 and a member of the New York State Southeastern Water Commission.
He was elected to his 14th term in the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 3, 1998. His 20th District of New York includes Rockland County in its entirety, western Orange County, southern Sullivan County, and the Town of Greenburgh and the northeastern corner of the City of Yonkers in Westchester County.
Since the convening of the 104th Congress on Jan. 4, 1995, Rep. Gilman has served as Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, formerly known as the Foreign Affairs Committee. Gilman's assumption of this position, reported the Washington Post (Dec. 9, 1994), signals that "U.S. military operations in foreign countries will be subjected to more congressional scrutiny and some new legislative controls." In his capacity as Chairman, Gilman is the primary spokesperson in the House for foreign policy and offers a strong guiding hand for all legislative initiatives. He began his third twoyear term as Chairman in Jan. 1999.
During the 1981 session of the United Nations, Rep. Gilman served as Congressional Delegate to the U.N., serving under Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Gilman also served on the Ukraine Famine Commission, the U.S.European and the U.S.Mexican Interparliamentary Conferences, as Congressional Advisor to the U.N. Law of the Sea Conference, as cochair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs, and on the International Task Force on Narcotics.
In 1972, he was elected to Congress to represent New York's 26th congressional district, defeating John G. Dow, a Democratic incumbent who had been serving in the New York's 27th congressional district (which included most of the territory and population of the new 26th district), and served from January 3, 1973 until January 3, 2003. During his time in Congress, he was chair of the House Committee on International Relations.