Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1965.
In 1987 he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in history, from Brandeis University and received his law degree in 1991 from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. He was admitted to the Massachusetts bar that same year. In 1992, he was admitted to the New York and Puerto Rico bars, and in 1993 to the Colorado and U.S. Virgin Islands bars.
Following law school, Judge Gelpí served as a law clerk to Judge Juan M. Pérez-Giménez from 1991-1993. From 1993-1996 he served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, representing criminal defendants before this court and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In 1996, while at the federal defenders office he was detailed to work as Special Counsel at the United States Sentencing Commission, in Washington, D.C.
In 1997 Judge Gelpí returned to Puerto Rico and commenced working at the Puerto Rico Department of Justice, where he served first as an assistant in federal matters to the Attorney General, and then as an Assistant Attorney General in the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. In 1999, Governor Pedro Rosselló, with the advice and consent of the Commonwealth Senate, appointed Judge Gelpí to be the Solicitor General of Puerto Rico, a position which he occupied until December of 2000. As the Puerto Rico Government’s counsel, Judge Gelpí argued various important constitutional and public policy issues before this court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, and District of Columbia Circuits, and the Puerto Rico Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
In 2001, Judge Gelpí joined the litigation department of the McConnell Valdés law firm. His tenure there was quite short; on June 29, 2001, he was appointed United States Magistrate Judge of this court.
On August 1, 2006, President George W. Bush, with the consent and advice of the Senate, appointed Judge Gelpí to be a United States District Judge. He was sworn-in by Judge Juan M. Pérez-Giménez on August 2, 2006.
Judge Gelpí served as President of the Puerto Rico Chapter of the Federal Bar Association during 2000 and in 2002 became a Fellow of the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association. In 2006, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Suffolk University Law School.
Judge Gelpí is an avid basketball fan, especially of the Santurce Cangrejeros, the Boston Celtics, and Teams USA and Puerto Rico. He is also a comic book collector. His favorite quote comes from the original 1963 Spider-Man story, “With great power there must also come great responsibility!”