Mark Kirk (1959-) is a U.S Representative (R-Illinois 10th district), first elected in 2000. He is a candidate for the U.S. Senate.  A commander in U.S. Navy intelligence, he deployed to Afghanistan in December 2008, and has foreign affairs experience both in the executive branch and in non-governmental organizations. He has positioned himself as supporting a "Suburban Agenda" that is "pro-defense, pro-personal responsibility, pro-environment, and pro-science," and identifies as a moderate member of the Republican Tuesday Group.
He is an adviser to the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.
After law school, he joined the staff of his predecessor in Congress, John Porter. He then worked for the International Finance Corporation at the World Bank, and then became Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for inter-American Affairs at the U.S. State Department from 1992-93. Next, he practiced law at Baker & McKenzie, and then joined the staff of the U.S. House International Relations Committee.
He has served in the Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and Bosnia, and received a Navy “Intelligence Officer of the Year” in 1999 for his combat service in Kosovo. He was first member of Congress to serve in an "imminent danger zone" since 1942 when he deployed as a reservist to Afghanistan in December 2008.
- Undergraduate studies at Blackburn College (Carlinville) and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma in Mexico
- B.A. from Cornell University
- Masters degree from the London School of Economics
- J.D. from Georgetown University.