Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce that Ambassador Ron Kirk, who served as the United States Trade Representative in the Obama Administration until February 2013, has joined the firm as Senior Of Counsel. At Gibson Dunn, Kirk will be resident in the firm’s Dallas and Washington, D.C. offices and will focus on providing strategic advice to companies with global interests.
As the U.S. Trade Representative, Kirk served as a member of President Obama’s Cabinet and negotiated trade agreements around the world as the President’s primary trade advisor. His distinguished career in the public sector includes service as the Secretary of State of Texas under Governor Ann Richards and two terms as the Mayor of Dallas. He was the first African American to serve as the U.S. Trade Representative and Mayor of Dallas.
“We are delighted to welcome Ron to the firm,” said Ken Doran, Chairman and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn. “Ron’s role as President Obama’s chief trade negotiator provides him with keen perspective and credibility with multinational companies and governments around the world, and his experience and abilities will prove extremely valuable to our clients.”
“Ron Kirk is a man of enormous integrity and capacity who has selflessly devoted himself to his city, state, and country,” said Rob Walters, Co-Partner in Charge of the firm’s Dallas office. “We are honored he chose Gibson Dunn, and we look forward to working with him on matters of great importance to our clients.”
“I have been relentless in advocating our nation’s interests around the world,” said Kirk. “I will carry that same passion and dedication into my work in the private sector. Gibson Dunn is a preeminent global law firm and provides an ideal platform for this next chapter in my career.”
About Ron Kirk
Kirk was nominated by President Obama to serve as U.S. Trade Representative and was confirmed in March 2009 by the U.S. Senate in a 92-5 confirmation vote. Kirk led the Office of the United States Trade Representative, which is responsible for developing and recommending U.S. trade policy to the President of the United States, conducting trade negotiations at bilateral and multilateral levels, and coordinating trade policy within the government through the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee and Trade Policy Review Group. During his tenure, Kirk advanced plurilateral negotiations with the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.
The only Texan to hold a Cabinet-level position in the Obama administration, Kirk has led the Administration’s market-opening negotiations and dialogue with trading partners around the world, including the conclusion and Congressional passage of bilateral free-trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. He led U.S. engagement with the World Trade Organization. He has focused on enforcement of the country’s trade rights and issues relating to the development and enforcement of intellectual property law in the U.S. and abroad, especially as they relate to trade policy.
Kirk served as the Secretary of State of Texas in 1994, until he was elected as the Mayor of Dallas, where he served from 1995 to 2002. He received his undergraduate degree from Austin College and his law degree from the University of Texas.