Caroline Kennedy (b. 1957)
is the daughter of John and Jacqueline Kennedy. She is an attorney and diplomat
who served as the US Ambassador to Japan and dedicated her career to law and
She studied at
Harvard and later earned a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School. She has
written two books on civil liberties and supported Democratic candidates for
the US presidency, endorsing causes such as same-sex marriage and abortion
Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) was an
English traveller and political officer who was instrumental in British
policy-making around the Middle East due to her extensive knowledge and expertise.
She made important contributions to establishing the modern state of Iraq.
She studied History (one of the few
subject permitted to women) at Oxford University, and graduated with a
first-class degree in only two years. After World War I, she was the only woman
who had any political power and influenced British imperial policy in the
Middle East. She helped create the Baghdad Archaeological Museum, today the Iraqi
Irina Bokova (b. 1952) is the former Director-General of UNESCO. A native of Bulgaria, she is both the first person from Southeast Europe and the first woman to head the agency.
Her diplomatic career also included the posts of Ambassador to Bulgaria for Monaco and France. She advocated for gender equality and educational opportunities while Director-General. She has also led efforts against racism and anti-Semitic behaviour, and oversaw Holocaust remembrance activities.
Margaret Anstee (1926-2016) was the
first woman to hold the position of Under-Secretary-General of the United
Nations. She achieved this in 1987.
She worked for the UK’s Foreign Office
from 1948, but her career ended when she got married, as at the time female
employees were required by law to resign upon their marriage. She began working
for the United Nations in 1952 and had a career that spanned four decades. In
1992, as a Special Representative to Angola, she became the first woman to head
a UN peacekeeping mission.
Jeanne Martin Cissé (1926-2017) was a Guinean diplomat. She was the first woman to serve as President of the United Nations Security Council.
She was one of the first female teachers in Guinea, and in 1962 became the Secretary General of the Pan African Women’s Organization. She served as the first female Vice President of the National Assembly of Guinea, and later as the chair of the UN Special Committee against Apartheid.