Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (1926-2006) was the first woman appointed to serve as permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations and as a member of Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet and National Security Council. She served as a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (1985-1990) and the Defense Policy Review Board (1985-1993), and she also chaired the Secretary of Defense Commission on Fail Safe and Risk Reduction of the Nuclear Command and Control System (1992). Dr. Kirkpatrick headed the U.S. delegation to the Human Rights Commission in 2003.
For this and related government service, Dr. Kirkpatrick was awarded the Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor—in May 1985 and received her second Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal—the highest civilian honor of the Department of Defense—in December 1992. In 2002, the Council on Foreign Relations established the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Chair in National Security, and in 1999 the Kennedy School at Harvard University established the Kirkpatrick Chair in International Affairs. She has held the Leavey Chair of Government at Georgetown University from 1978.
For her work on NATO enlargement, Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic, awarded her the Tomas Garrigue Masaryk Order, the Czech Republic State Decoration (1998), and H.E. Arpad Göncz, president of Hungary, presented her with the Hungarian Presidential Gold Medal (1999). For other work, she received the 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Award from the prime minister of Israel (1998); the Casey Medal of Honor from the Center for Security Studies (1998); the Grand Officier Du Wissam Al Alaoui Medal from the king of Morocco(2000); and the Living Legends Medal from the librarian of the Library of Congress (2000).
Dr. Kirkpatrick has received many other awards and decorations, including: the Award of the Commonwealth Fund; the Gold Medal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; the Hubert H. Humphrey Award of the American Political Science Association; the Christian A. Herter Award of the Boston World Affairs Association; the Morgenthau Award of the American Council on Foreign Policy; the Humanitarian Award of B’nai B’rith; the Defender of Jerusalem Award; and honorary degrees from more than a dozen and a half universities.
After her service in the U.S. government, she returned to her previous positions as Leavey Professor of Government at Georgetown University and as senior fellow at AEI. Dr. Kirkpatrick also wrote and spoke on a range of issues concerning foreign policy and security affairs and participates in the ongoing dialogue on public issues.
Dr. Kirkpatrick’s published works include: Good Intentions (2003); The Withering Away of the Totalitarian State; Legitimacy and Force (2 vols.); The Reagan Phenomenon; Dictatorships & Double Standards; Dismantling the Parties: Reflections on Party Reform and Party Decomposition; The New Presidential Elite; Political Woman; and Leader and Vanguard in Mass Society: A Study of Peronist Argentina. She is also the author of numerous monograms and articles. Dr. Kirkpatrick received an A.B. from Barnard College, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, and studied at the Institute de Science Politique in Paris.
Among her last acts, were her efforts to try to help get EMET off the ground.
Dr. Kirkpatrick died at her home in Bethesda, Maryland, on December 7, 2006.