Ronald "Ron" Kirk (born June 27, 1954) is the 16th United States Trade Representative, serving in the Obama administration. He served as mayor of Dallas, Texas from 1995 to 2002; he also ran for the United States Senate in 2002.
Born in Austin, Texas, Kirk is the youngest of four children; his father was a U.S. postal worker and the family was politically active. He grew up in a predominantly black community, and attended Austin's public schools. He was a leader in high school, and was elected student council president in his senior year at John H. Reagan High School (Austin, Texas).
Kirk attended Austin College, graduating with a degree in both political science and sociology in 1976. He then went to the University of Texas School of Law. Upon receiving his Juris Doctor in 1979, he practiced law until 1981 when he left to work in the office of then-Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen. In 1983, Kirk returned to Texas to lobby the state legislature in Austin, first as an attorney with the city of Dallas, and later with a law firm.