U.S. Senator for Illinois
Born in Champaign, Illinois, Mark graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka and attended the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He then enrolled at Cornell University where he graduated cum laude with a B.A. in History. After completion of his undergraduate studies, Mark obtained a Master's Degree from the London School of Economics and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University.
In 1989, Mark was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Navy Reserve and currently holds the rank of Commander. From December 2008 to January 2009, Congressman Kirk became the first House member to deploy to an imminent danger area since 1942 when he served as special advisor for counternarcotics in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He has also served in Iraq, Haiti, and Bosnia and in 1999, was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his service in Kosovo. For their service in Kosovo, the U.S. Navy and National Military Intelligence Association named Mark and his team the VADM Rufus Taylor Intelligence Unit of the Year for outstanding service during Operation Allied Force.
Mark worked on the staff of his predecessor in the House, Congressman John Porter, a former Representative of Illinois' 10th District, and also spent two years at the State Department as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State. Mark then went into private law practice and eventually became counsel to the House International Relations Committee, a post he held until 1999.
Mark was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2000 and went on to serve five terms representing the people of Illinois' 10th Congressional District in Congress. On November 29, 2010, Mark was sworn in as the thirtieth class III United States Senator from the state of Illinois.
He serves on the Committees on Appropriations, Banking, Housing and Urban Development and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions as well as the Special Committee on Aging.