Ambassador Ron Kirk to Address Spring Graduates, Milton Carroll to Receive Honorary Degree

    Texas Southern University has announced that Ambassador Ron Kirk will be the keynote speaker for its Spring Commencement Ceremonies set for Saturday, May 16 at 9:30 a.m. in the H&PE Arena. TSU Alumnus Milton Carroll will be issued an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters.

    Kirk is Senior of Counsel in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Dallas and Washington, D.C. offices. He is Co-Chair of the International Trade practice and is also a member of the Public Policy, Crisis Management, Mergers and Acquisitions and Private Equity practice groups.

    Prior to joining the firm in April 2013, Ambassador Kirk was the first African American to serve as United States Trade Representative (USTR) and was a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, serving 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 in 2009. The office of USTR is responsible for the development and oversight of U.S. trade policy, including strategy, negotiation, implementation and enforcement of multilateral, regional/bilateral and sector specific trade agreements. Ambassador Kirk was also responsible for U.S. trade policy involving agriculture; industry; services and investment; intellectual property; environment; labor; development and preference programs.

    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, he earned a reputation for bringing together diverse coalitions to get things done. During his tenure as Mayor, Ambassador Kirk expanded Dallas’ reach to the world through a range of trade programs, including numerous trade missions.

    Previously, Governor Ann Richards appointed him as Texas Secretary of State; he served as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen and he was named as chair of Texas’ General Service Commission. Ambassador Kirk also served as a City of Dallas assistant city attorney.

    Mr. Milton Carroll holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Texas Southern University.  He has been an active supporter of his alma mater, serving as Chairman of the Board of Regents from 1985 through 1989. He will be issued an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters at the ceremony.