The State Department never got around to announcing it, but just so you'll know it's official: First Daughter Maureen Reagan has been the new U.S. representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women since Oct. 13.

"Maureen was already on our rolls. It's not like we were bringing her in from the outside," a department official said of the failure to announce the appointment.

Known in State Department parlance as a "departmental appointee," Reagan was named by Secretary of State George Shultz. In a glowing Nov. 17 letter on her performance in Nairobi as head of the U.S. delegation to the Decade of Women meeting last July, Shultz also expressed pleasure that she had succeeded longtime Reagan family intimate Nancy Reynolds, who resigned in August.

Reagan's salary is based on an annual pay scale of $69,900, specified by the so-called "plum book" that provides guidelines for salaries paid presidential and political appointees.

"It's a bit misleading, though, because the job only requires you to work part time, and consequently Maureen is only paid for the days she is actually employed," the State Department official said.

Nancy Reynolds estimated that during her tenure she devoted between 60 and 90 days a year to the job. "It's determined by the issues and the meetings coming up, and the time you have to spend on it," Reynolds said. "Maureen is a quick study, and she will plunge into all kinds of work. There will also be great demands on her as a speaker. That's part of the job, too."

The department does not provide the U.S. representative to the commission office space here since most of the work is done out of its U.N. mission in New York.

Anyway, Reagan continues to work out of her office at the Republican National Committee whenever she's in Washington.

Job prospects for James Rosebush, who leaves his job as Nancy Reagan's chief of staff in late January, include a number of possibilities and a "couple of offers," though nothing is yet decided. He's known to be interested in international relations, corporate public affairs, philanthropy and real estate development, for starters.

At the recent summit in Geneva, it was suggested that Soviet first lady Raisa Gorbachev might be looking for a chief of staff now that she's gone international. Not unaware that the joke about Nancy Reagan's top assistant is that the job description includes holding her handbag, Rosebush displayed a talent for the touche'.

Of Raisa Gorbachev, whom he had not yet seen in person, he deadpanned: "Does she carry a handbag, though?"

She does.

The First Lady of American Theater salutes the First Theater of the American stage tomorrow at a publication party for the National Theatre's new biography, "Stage for a Nation: The National Theatre -- 150 Years."

Helen Hayes didn't write the book -- that was the collaborative effort of three Washington area writers, Douglas Lee, Roger Meersman and Donn B. Murphy. However, Hayes is probably identified with the National more than any other living actress. Besides spending a lifetime in front of National's footlights, she saw her first play from the theater's "topmost" balcony.

"What a wondrous afternoon as I sat there with my mother, mesmerized by the magic of the theatre," she writes in the book's preface. "My heart took flight, and I guess it has not come down to earth yet. When the curtain fell, I refused to leave -- and I had to be dragged away. Thus began a lifelong love affair with the theatre."

The National opened on Dec. 7, 1835, with a play titled "Man of the World," and became the nation's oldest continuously operating theater, one attended by every U.S. president since James Knox Polk (technically, Dwight Eisenhower never went as president, but he did as a general).

Don't look for any splashy media-targeted celebration to mark the 150th anniversary after Saturday night's performance of "La Cage aux Folles."

"It'll be strictly blue jeans, and we're inviting the theater crowd from all over the city -- the ushers, stagehands, box-office attendants. You know," spokeswoman Alma Viator said, "a family party."

Barbara Bush hosts a private tea today for key participants and supporters of the Dec. 9 dinner being put on by the Committee for a Free Afghanistan. If tea acceptances tell you anything, those key supporters will include Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.), Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole, Maureen Reagan and Pakistani Ambassador Ejaz Azim.

Not expected at either the tea or the dinner is Richard Nixon, although a letter he has written about the plight of Afghan refugees is being sent out by the bipartisan dinner committee to bolster its pleas for tax-deductible support. Nixon toured the frontier with Pakistan's President Zia Ul-Haq and met with leaders of the Afghan refugees, of whom there are an estimated 3.1 million in Pakistan.

Nixon is typical of the "names" lending their backing to the dinner, the proceeds of which will go for medical supplies and care for refugees in Pakistan. Other big backers include Henry Kissinger, Jeane Kirkpatrick, W. Clement Stone and a couple dozen members of the House and Senate.

Many lesser-knowns also are lending support. One is Shelby Thornton of Tucson, whose husband, Charles, was the first American journalist to be killed in the fighting in Afghanistan. Another is Hazrat Khan, an 8-year-old wounded in a bombing that killed his mother. Hazrat was flown to the United States a month ago for medical treatment. He is at Georgetown University Hospital where, among other things, he's learning to speak English.