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 bigger 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 as a peace and conflict resolution officer at The Carter Center, former President Jimmy Carter’s non-governmental organization in Atlanta, sent Kirk to a series of hotspots. These included Bosnia-and Herzegovina 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.
Since 2000, Kirk has served as a diplomat at the U.S. Department of State, again focusing on areas in strife with tours in Kuwait (during 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq), Sarajevo, Tunis, Kabul, NATO Headquarters in Brussels, and Washington, DC. Here, he spent a year as an American Political Science Association Fellow, working on Capitol Hill in the office of Congressman Adam Schiff.
Kirk presently lives in Istanbul with his wife, Vonda, and their two intrepid cats.
When he’s not busy working on Syrian assistance programs, he enjoys writing, reading, traveling, and playing, watching, and talking about soccer.
Kirk is the author of A Simple Game, his first novel.