Jeane J Kirkpatrick

Lived:December 19, 1926—December 7, 2006 (aged 79)
Career:U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, 1981-1985
Party:Democrat, then Republican
Education:Barnard College
Ph.D, Georgetown University

Jeane Kirkpatrick was the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, serving from 1981 to 1985.

Kirkpatrick was born on December 19, 1926 in Duncan, Oklahoma. She graduated from Barnard College in 1948 and received a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in 1968. She began her career as a faculty member at Georgetown University in 1967, becoming a full professor of government in 1973.

Kirkpatrick became active in Democratic politics in the 1970s, working with the campaigns of presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey and serving on the Platform Committee for the Democratic Party in 1976. In the late 1970s, she published several articles in political science journals that were critical of the Democratic Party, particularly the foreign policy of President Jimmy Carter, leading to Kirkpatrick serving as Ronald Reagan's foreign policy adviser during his 1980 campaign. After Reagan's election, Kirkpatrick served on his Cabinet on the National Security Council, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Defense Policy Review Board, and chaired the Secretary of Defense Commission on Fail Safe and Risk reduction of the Nuclear Command and Control System. She then served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 1981 to 1985.

After serving as ambassador, Kirkpatrick returned to teaching at Georgetown University. She also became a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, and a contributor to the American Freedom Journal. In 1993, she co-founded Empower America, a public-policy organization, and was on the advisory board of the National Association of Scholars, a group that works against what it regards as a liberal bias in academia.

Kirkpatrick died from congestive heart failure at her home in Bethesda, Maryland, on December 7, 2006.