From: United States: Maryland, Oklahoma
Fields: Government and Politics Key Words/Phrases: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Kirkpatrick, Jeanne Jordan (1926- ), American political scientist and United States ambassador to the United Nations from 1981 to 1985. Kirkpatrick was born in Duncan, Oklahoma. She graduated from Barnard College in 1948 and received her master's and doctoral degrees in political science from Columbia University. From 1955 to 1972, Kirkpatrick worked intermittently for the United States Department of Defense. She joined the faculty of Georgetown University in 1967, and in 1978 she became a full professor of political science. In the 1970s Kirkpatrick became active in politics. As a Democrat, she was active in the later campaigns of former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey, who was reelected to the Senate in 1970 and made an unsuccessful bid for the presidential nomination in 1972. Kirkpatrick also served on the Credentials Committee at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. Kirkpatrick published a number of articles in political science journals and related publications during the 1970s. Her writings reflected her disillusionment with the Democratic party, and she criticized the foreign policy of Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Kirkpatrick's views caught the attention of Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, and she became Reagan's foreign policy adviser during his 1980 campaign. Upon winning the election, Reagan nominated Kirkpatrick as United States ambassador to the United Nations. In 1985 Kirkpatrick became a Republican and returned to teaching at Georgetown. She continued to be an active commentator and participant in politics. Kirkpatrick has also written several books, including Political Women (1974), The New Presidential Elite (1976), and The Withering Away of the Totalitarian State (1990).