Kirk Rys is 49 years old. He completed his undergraduate studies at Villanova University, and followed that up with a 28-month tour in the Peace Corps, serving in Nepal. He then came to Pittsburgh in 1996 for a joint degree program offered by the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management (Carnegie Mellon University) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
In 2000, Kirk graduated with both a masters in public policy and a law degree, and then started his career as a practicing attorney. His first six years were in private practice, with a focus on commercial real estate, real estate taxation and affordable housing. Since 2007, he’s worked primarily in the banking sector, garnering significant experience in both public and private finance. For over 5 years, he was the sole in-house counsel of a new and growing bank, where he provided legal guidance on a variety of topics, including lending, and the management and review of third-party vendor contracts. He is currently employed as Managing Counsel at BNY Mellon, where he is primarily responsible for the review and negotiation of their international and investment grade commercial loans. While at BNY Mellon, he’s also been tapped to serve as the lawyer for a number of complex special projects.
Apart from his day job, Kirk remains connected to the community. He was a Big Brother to a student from Homewood for 6 years. He also currently sits on the board of an ACTION-Housing subsidiary (one of the largest non profit providers of affordable housing and supportive services in the Pittsburgh region), where he remains keenly aware of the scarcity of affordable housing in certain Pittsburgh neighborhoods, including a number of neighborhoods located within PPS District 2. He also serves on the board (and as treasurer) of First Food & Friends, an East End soup kitchen. Kirk also maintains an active pro bono practice, with regular participation in the transgender name change project and the criminal expungement project organized through BNY Mellon.
Kirk and his wife, Allyson, live in the Morningside neighborhood of Pittsburgh with their son, who attends Pittsburgh Sunnyside.