Dr Catherine Day
Foundation Day Medalist
Dr Catherine Day has had an astounding impact on the European Union landscape. Since graduating from UCD with a BA in 1974 and a Master of Arts in International Trade and Economic Integration in 1975, she has carried out incredibly influential work within the EU, resulting in an honorary Doctorate in Law from UCD in 2004.
Dr Day joined the European Commission in 1979 and the cabinet of Ireland’s Richard Burke in 1982. This started a 14-year unbroken run in four cabinets. By 1996, as Deputy Chef de Cabinet to Britain, she was responsible for developing a new transatlantic agenda, as well as looking after the Balkans, Cyprus, and Malta. In 2014, Day received an award from the President of Ireland for her distinguished service to the Irish abroad. One of only three women to hold a position as Director General in the Commission, Dr Day has recently stepped down as the Secretary General of the European Commission after 15 years.