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Gillian Cole is a former employee and the current CEO of CWI.


Gillian Cole is an Asian American woman who graduated from Stanford University as Valedictorian. Details are unknown as to whether or not she received her master's degree or PhD following her education at Stanford.

During her interview with Claire, it was revealed that she had the opportunity to work for Google and make a hefty 6-figure income but turned it down due to her own personal convictions. Afterwards, she started her own non-profit and committed herself to charity across the world like in Zimbabwe.  She eventually got a job with Clear Water Initiative (CWI) after Claire Underwood fired half of her staff. She is a great employee of CWI and very loyal until a deal gets cut between SanCorp and Claire Underwood. Gillian refuses to help the PR team of SanCorp while they're in Sudan despite Claire's wishes for cooperation. Claire confronts Gillian and ultimately has a falling out with her.

Gillian is fired and decides to take Claire Underwood and CWI to court to send a message that non-profit organizations like CWI take money from corporations and thus corrupt these various institutions. Gillian refuses to pursue a settlement with Claire, which in turn involves many lawyers and puts Claire under even more stress as her husband Frank Underwood seeks to attain the position of Vice President. This however is short lived once Claire cancels her insurance therefore cutting off access to medicine she needs to ensure the health of her unborn child. She confronts Claire at her office where Claire makes clear to Gillian that she is willing to "Let your child wither and die inside you if that's what's required." Then in a surprise move Claire tells Gillian if she drops the lawsuit that Claire will resign as CEO of CWI and name her as replacement.

Behind the Scenes

Gillian Cole was portrayed by Sandrine Holt in Seasons 1 and 2 of House of Cards.

In late-2016, sources connected directly to the show hinted at the character's return as well as that of others.


Season 1
"Chapter 1" "Chapter 2" "Chapter 3" "Chapter 4" "Chapter 5"
"Chapter 6" "Chapter 7" "Chapter 8" "Chapter 9" "Chapter 10"
"Chapter 11" "Chapter 12" "Chapter 13"
Season 2
"Chapter 14" "Chapter 15" "Chapter 16" "Chapter 17" "Chapter 18"
"Chapter 19" "Chapter 20" "Chapter 21" "Chapter 22" "Chapter 23"
"Chapter 24" "Chapter 25" "Chapter 26"