Editor’s Note: This biography was provided by the candidate’s office.
Gil Cisneros is running for Congress to make sure we are providing our children the same ladder of opportunity that the Navy provided him. As the first in his family to graduate from college, Gil will fight Republican attempts to cut education funding and Pell Grants, tools that empower not just students, but entire communities.
The son of a public school cafeteria worker and a Vietnam veteran, Gil’s father suffered from health problems because of his exposure to Agent Orange. Gil knows firsthand the challenges a family faces when they are unable to afford health insurance, and in Congress, he will fight Donald Trump’s efforts to strip coverage from millions of Californians.
As a U.S. Naval Officer, Gil was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for his exemplary service to his country. He received a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship, and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University. Gil also holds an MBA from Regis University and M.A. in Urban Education Policy from Brown.
Gil is president and co-founder of The Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation, an organization committed to improving the level of Hispanic education in the country.
Gilbert’s dedication toward philanthropy began when he purchased a winning California Mega Millions lottery ticket in 2010. Gil and Jacki partnered with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the city of Pico Rivera, California to create Generation First Degree Pico Rivera, with the goal of putting a college degree in every Hispanic household in the city.
Gil serves as Secretary of the Latino Donor Collaborative, and a board member of The Wooden Floor, a non-profit dance studio based in Santa Ana, California. He is a member of the Southern California Advisory Council for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, a member of the Advisory Council for the Dean of Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University, a member of the Brown University Diversity Council, and he was most recently appointed to Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Advisory Board for college access. He previously served on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for The Kennedy Center under President Obama.
Now the parents of twin boys, Gil and Jacki remain committed to expanding educational opportunities for Southern California youth.