Gillian McBride is a legislative aide in the Wisconsin State Legislature. She is from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where her father first ran for city council when she was twelve years old and where Act 10 protests soon began to galvanize local activism. These early experiences impressed upon her the importance of understanding who holds power at the local and state level and who benefits from it. This became a personal call to action when Gillian had the opportunity to volunteer with her church in Hurricane Katrina recovery work and gain perspective first-hand from New Orleans residents about how the same systems of segregation that made the difference in whether or not New Orleanians survived and recovered from the storm surge were alive and well in her own hometown.
Gillian graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies with a determination to understand how to work towards social justice in times of political conflict and environmental change. Throughout her college career, Gillian developed a deeper understanding of social justice and service as a volunteer, intern and board member with the Morgridge Center for Public Service, through which she received a 2017 Meyerhoff Undergraduate Excellence Award for Leadership, Service, and Scholarship. She also received a Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Fellowship for her senior thesis advised by Dr. Erica Simmons which explored the role of land use and environmental change in El Salvador's modern political development.
Following graduation, Gillian returned to Milwaukee to serve as an AmeriCorps Student Success Coach with City Year and received an Urban Leaders Fellowship to work in educational policy and nonprofit development in New Orleans. She was also selected as the 2017 Milwaukee Young Ambassador of the Friends of Saint Patrick Centre and traveled to Northern Ireland to experience the role of "Brexit" in the political process, observe a United Kingdom parliamentary election, and learn from community leaders in peace-building.
Before transitioning to her current role, Gillian worked in Milwaukee to assist a law firm in developing a mediation practice and in Madison to support nonprofit organizations in strategic communications and program development. She enjoys spending her spare time trail biking, gardening, bird-watching, and spending time with family.