Jolene Bishop Rick, so her maiden name, attended the preschool in Shanghai (China) 1938-1940. She then graduated from the public schools in Portland and Vancouver ( Washington). Between 1949 and 1951 she studied at Oregon State University in Corvallis. She married Willi Unsoeld (1926-1979), the mountaineering and later was college teacher. In the 1960s, she accompanied her husband on a multi-year trip to the Himalayas. In Kathmandu, she led in 1965 and 1967, the English Language Institute. Between 1971 and 1984 Jolene Unsoeld worked as a lobbyist and consultant.
Politically, she became a member of the Democratic Party. From 1980 to 1988 she was a member of the Democratic National Committee; between 1985 and 1988 she was a Member of the House of Representatives from Washington. In the congressional elections in 1988 was Unsoeld in the third constituency of their state in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where they became the successor of Don Bonker on January 3, 1989. After two re- elections she was able to complete in Congress until January 3, 1995, three legislative periods. There she sat down resolutely for the Freedom of Information Act. In general, it was considered a liberal. An exception in this case, their resistance to a law on gun control in the United States.
In the 1994 elections was defeated Jolene Unsoeld of Republican Linda Smith. After that it has exercised to date, no further political office.