Meet Laura

In 2017, Laura Gillen was elected Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead, the largest  township in the United States. She was the first member of her party elected in more  than a century. During her tenure as Supervisor of the nation’s largest town, Ms. Gillen prepared and administered a budget of nearly $500 million and managed the operations of all town departments. She spearheaded initiatives to modernize the  physical and IT infrastructure of the town and to address affordable housing needs. Her  administration applied for and received several grants, including a $10 million NYS Downtown  Revitalization Initiative grant. Ms. Gillen was recognized for instituting tight fiscal controls  and passed the town’s first multi-year capital spending plan. She also created the town's  first sustainability panel and oversaw many environmental initiatives, including  reestablishing the town’s water testing lab, expanding its shellfish hatchery and creating  living barrier reefs to prevent erosion and protect waterways. A former litigator, she  commenced litigation to recover costs and damages associated with emerging  contaminants in the public water supply. Ms. Gillen passed critical legislation relating to  transparency, sexual harassment, veterans benefits and ethics reform. She keenly  rooted out potential corruption resulting in multiple federal and local investigations. 

Ms. Gillen’s desire to serve her community began long before her election. She  volunteered in her youth at South Nassau Communities Hospital and Camp Anchor. Her  interest in public service ripened while a student at Georgetown University, where she  concentrated her studies in government. At Georgetown, Ms. Gillen was honored with the  distinction of being selected to be a George Baker Scholar. Her participation in the Baker  Scholar program impacted the direction of her life profoundly with its lessons of leadership  and community service. After graduating cum laude from Georgetown in 1991, Ms. Gillen  returned to New York to study at Stella Adler Studio. She later became an agent for a  leading speakers bureau. During these years, Ms. Gillen was also a GMHC volunteer,  assisting persons living with HIV/AIDS. 

In 1995 through 1996, Ms. Gillen embarked on transformational visits to destinations in  China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and India. The focal point of her travel was an  extended volunteer mission in Calcutta with the Missionaries of Charity, where she  worked in Mother Teresa’s home for the dying. 

Ms. Gillen returned to Georgetown for law studies by night, while interning for Hon. Marian  Blank Horn of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims by day. In 1998, Ms. Gillen transferred to  New York University’s School of Law. While at NYU, she worked at Cahill Gordon &  Reindel LLP and was invited to join the firm as a litigation associate after earning her JD in 2000. At Cahill, Ms. Gillen worked on matters involving securities regulation,  defamation, employment and intellectual property. Ms. Gillen also participated in the  firm’s pro bono program, assisting victims of domestic violence. Shortly after her second  child and a move back to Long Island, Ms. Gillen joined the Westerman Ball law firm  where she practiced commercial litigation. She appeared in state and federal courts,  representing clients in cases involving intellectual property, employment law, unfair  competition, contractual disputes, fraud, real estate disputes, corporate governance  disputes and other business torts. 

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Laura continued to serve her community by  volunteering with All Hands and Hearts, distributing PPE to local police stations,  businesses and health centers. She later joined the faculty at Hofstra University as an  adjunct professor of law.  

Laura Gillen is now a candidate for Congress in New York’s Fourth District – the seat  currently occupied by Congresswoman Kathleen Rice. She has been endorsed by  Congresswoman Rice, former Representatives Steve Israel and Carolyn McCarthy, and  many other local leaders and organizations.