In 1981 Jeane Kirkpatrick became the first permanent U.S. woman ambassador to the United Nations.
She later said she “realized that not only was I the first woman ever to represent the United States. I was the first woman to represent any major power.”
Several women served in the cabinet during the 1980s, including Elizabeth Dole, first as secretary of transportation and later as secretary of labor.
Antonia Novello became the first woman and first Latina to serve as U.S. surgeon-general, in 1989.
In 1989 Judith Chang Bloch became the first Asian American woman ambassador, to Nepal.