Ron Kirk speaks with reporters at the Christian Science Monitor Breakfast. Kirk is United States Trade Representative and is a member of President Obama's Cabinet. He serves as the President's principal trade advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues.
David Cook is Senior Editor and Washington bureau chief of The Christian Science Monitor. He oversees the Monitor's 9-person bureau in the nation's capital, hosts the Monitor's newsmaker breakfasts, and writes for csmonitor.com.
For over 40 years, Monitor breakfasts have brought journalists together with key public officials to talk about the issues of the day in a candid, in-depth fashion. Since their start in 1966, four US presidents, five vice presidents, and countless cabinet and congressional officials have been guests at the 3,600 breakfasts the Monitor has hosted.
When Monitor correspondent Jill Carroll was held captive in Iraq for 82 days in 2006, Cook served as the Monitor's spokesperson and appeared on numerous national broadcasts including "Today," "Nightline," "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," and "ABC World News Tonight."
From August 1994 through July 2001, Cook served as editor of The Christian Science Monitor. During his term, the Monitor's print edition was redesigned, csmonitor.com was launched, and the paper won numerous awards including the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting.
Previously Cook was editor of Monitor Broadcasting which produced daily radio news programs heard on 200 public radio stations. He also served as managing editor of the Monitor's Emmy award-winning nightly television news program "World Monitor."
His current assignment is Cook's third tour in Washington. During two previous postings in the nation's capital he covered economic policy. He also has been a Detroit-based correspondent for Business Week.
Cook was awarded a Bagehot Fellowship in Business and Economic Journalism by Columbia University. He is a graduate of Principia College, attended the Advanced Management Program at Michigan State University, and served in the U.S. Army. He is a member of the Gridiron Club, Washington's oldest journalistic organization, and the father of three grown sons.
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. During his tenure at USTR, Ambassador Kirk has led the office in developing trade policies that are proactive, responsible, and more responsive to American families' interests - recognizing that trade can be a job-creating pillar of economic recovery in the United States and around the world. Highlights have included a new focus on trade policy that assists America's small and medium-sized businesses, increased enforcement efforts to bring home the benefits of existing trade agreements, and changes to move forward the Doha Round of world trade negotiations.
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.
Ron Kirk comments on his future as United States Trade Representative and as a member of President Obama's Cabinet. "In my next life I would love to be the next [NBA Commissioner] David Stern," jokes Kirk. "But other than that, I don't think I'd trade this job for anything else."
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk says there's no reason to keep American beef out of Asian markets. "Our goal," says Kirk, "is to have our partners comply with the agreements we've all made to operate on sound science as it relates to sanitary standards."
Body of senior ministers or, in the U.S., advisers to a chief executive, whose members also serve as the heads of government departments. The cabinet has become an integral part of parliamentary government in many countries, though its form varies. It developed from the British Privy Council, when King Charles II and Queen Anne regularly consulted the council's leading members to reach decisions before meeting with the unwieldy full council. The modern British cabinet consists of departmental ministers, drawn from the members of Parliament and appointed by the prime minister. In the U.S., the cabinet serves as an advisory group to the president without the sanction of law. Members' appointments are subject to Senate approval, and the U.S. Constitution sets cabinet members' order of succession to the presidency. The cabinet includes the secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Education, Energy, and Veterans Affairs and the attorney general.