Ron Kirk

Former United States Trade Representative

Ambassador Ron Kirk is a former United States trade representative (USTR), a former mayor of Dallas and the first African-American to fill those roles. With nearly 20 influential years in politics and as a member of former President Barack Obama’s cabinet, he was the principal advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues and a member of the economics team.

Mr. Kirk served as U.S. trade ambassador from 2009-2013, and led negotiations to complete trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama; and he was on the front line of enforcing trade rules with China. Before serving two terms as Dallas’ mayor from 1995-2002, he worked for former U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas, and later was named the secretary of state of Texas. He was also the first black nominee for Senate in 2002.

Mr. Kirk graduated with degrees in political science and sociology from Austin College before earning a law degree from the University of Texas. He was named one of “The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal in 2008.