Born in Highland Park, Illinois, Kirk grew up in and around Seattle, and has spent much of his life crisscrossing the globe. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Washington in Seattle, he launched his career as an award-winning sportswriter, newspaper editor, and columnist in Southern California and North Carolina.
A trip through Europe convinced him there was a much larger world out there he needed to be part of. So back to school he went, this time for a Master’s degree in international communication with a minor in conflict resolution from American University in Washington, DC, before setting off for further shores.
Work from 1996-2000 as a peace and conflict resolution officer at The Carter Center, former President Jimmy Carter’s NGO in Atlanta, sent Kirk to a series of hotspots. These included Bosnia immediately after the Dayton Peace Accord, East Timor during its violent referendum for independence, Liberia under Charles Taylor, Nigeria under Sani Abacha, and Zimbabwe under Charles Mugabe.
From 2000-2020, Kirk served as a diplomat at the U.S. Department of State, again focusing on areas in strife. Overseas assignments included Kuwait (during 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq), Sarajevo, Tunis, Kabul (during the war in Afghanistan), NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Istanbul (working on Syrian assistance efforts), and Dublin. He also served in Washington, DC, including as an American Political Science Association (APSA) Fellow on Capitol Hill in the office of Congressman Adam Schiff.
In his “spare time,” Kirk published his first novel, the international thriller A Simple Game. He currently lives in Baltimore with his wife, Vonda, and their two intrepid cats, busily working on a second novel and a series of short stories.