As United States Trade Representative (USTR), Ambassador Kirk is a member of President Obama's Cabinet and serves as the President's principal trade advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues. Ambassador Kirk was nominated to be United States Trade Representative by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 18, 2009.
Ambassador Kirk draws upon more than 25 years of diverse legislative and economic experience on local, state and federal levels. As the first African American mayor of Dallas from 1995 - 2001, Ambassador Kirk expanded Dallas' reach to the world through a range of trade programs, including numerous trade missions. Previously, he served as Texas Secretary of State under Governor Ann Richards; as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.) and as chair of Texas' General Service Commission. Ambassador Kirk also served as a City of Dallas assistant city attorney.
Ambassador Kirk was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and sociology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1979. He is married to Matrice Ellis-Kirk. He and his wife have two daughters, Elizabeth Alexandra and Catherine Victoria.