Gu Xiulian, female, Han nationality, is a native of Nantong, Jiangsu Province. She was born in 1936.
In the mid-1960s, Gu was assigned to work in the Ministry of Textile Industry because of her experiences with grassroots units. In 1973, at the age of 36, she was elevated to the position of vice-minister of the State Planning Commission. The year before, she was appointed the vice-minister of the State Family Planning Commission.
In 1982, Gu became the secretary of the CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee. The following year, she was elected the governor of Jiangsu Province. In assuming the governorship, Gu became the first female provincial governor. Four years later, she was re-elected governor of the province. Her growing status led her to become a member of the CPC Central Committee at the Party's 13th National Congress.
Gu Xiulian was a member of the All-China Women's Federation since the late 1990s. She was appointed president in 2003, and she served as vice-chairman of the 10th NPC standing committee in that same year.
Gu Xiulian was a member of the 12th-15th CPC Central Committees.