Ron Kirk, the former Dallas mayor who left the Obama cabinet in March, is joining the Gibson Dunn law firm. The Financial Times reports tonight that Kirk, after four years as U.S. trade ambassador, said he wanted to remain “engaged in global commerce,” and found a private sector slot that allows him to do so. He’ll advise global clients, working out of the firm’s offices in Dallas and Washington.
He is barred from lobbying or trying to influence the agency he led, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
“There are very clear restrictions on what we can and can’t do and even more so with the Obama administration. One of the things I’m most proud of is I’ve transitioned out of government twice before and I’ve never had anyone question the work I was doing in terms of whether it was unfairly trading on my public experience,” Kirk tells the FT, which noted that predecessors Charlene Barshefsky and Mickey Cantor — trade negotiators under President Bill Clinton — also joined law firms after leaving government.
Gibson Dunn is a top firm. Washington-based partners include Ted Olson, the U.S. Solicitor General during George W. Bush’s first term. Last week, The National Law Journal named Olson one of the nation’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers,” along with a Los Angeles partner, Theodore Boutrous, and a New York partner, Randy Mastro.
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