Gene Robinson was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, and graduated from the University of the South with a B.A. in American studies and history. He completed the M.Div. degree in 1973 at the General Theological Seminary in New York, and was ordained deacon and then priest. Having served as Canon to the Ordinary (assistant to the bishop) for nearly eighteen years, he was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003. He retired as bishop in January 2013. The author of three AIDS curricula for youth, he is also the recipient of numerous awards from civil, human, and LGBT rights organizations. Robinson is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.