Jeane J Kirkpatrick

Lived:November 19, 1926—December 7, 2006 (aged 80)
Career:U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, 1981-1985
Party:Democrat, then Republican
Education:A.A., Stephens College
B.A., Barnard College
Master's and Ph.D, Georgetown University

Jeane Kirkpatrick was a foreign policy advisor under President Ronald Reagan and the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, serving from 1981 to 1985.

Kirkpatrick was born on November 19, 1926, in Duncan, Oklahoma. She received an associate’s degree from Stephens College in 1946, a bachelor's degree from Barnard College in 1948 and a master's and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in 1950 and 1968, respectively.

Between her master's and Ph.D., Kirkpatrick was a research analyst with the Office of Intelligence Research at the U.S. State Department, studied at the Institute of Political Science in Paris, served on several Democratic Party committees and worked for the U.S. Department of Defense. From 1956 to 1962, she worked with the Communism in Government project of the Fund for the Republic Organization. In 1962, Kirkpatrick served as assistant professor of political science at Trinity College. She became a faculty member in political science at Georgetown University in 1967, retiring as professor emeritus in 2002.

Kirkpatrick was active in Democratic politics in the early 1970s, including working with the 1972 presidential campaign of Hubert Humphrey. She grew increasingly dissatisfied with the party, however, and served as Ronald Reagan's foreign policy advisor during his 1980 presidential campaign. After Reagan's election, Kirkpatrick served on his cabinet and national security team. She served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 1981 to 1985.

After her tenure as ambassador, Kirkpatrick returned to teaching at Georgetown University. She also joined the Republican Party and served as chief foreign policy advisor to Senate Republicans. She also became a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank and in 1993 co-founded Empower America, a conservative public-policy organization.

Kirkpatrick died on December 7, 2006.


Armstrong, C. G. (n.d.). Kirkpatrick, Jeane Jordan (1926-2006).. In The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved on Feb. 26, 2020, from

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2020, Feb. 18). Jeane Kirkpatrick: American political scientist. In Britannica. Retrieved on Feb. 26, 2020 from