Catherine Day

For the Estonian holiday, see St. Catherine's Day.
Catherine Day
Secretary General of the European Commission
In office
10 November 2005  1 September 2015
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by David O'Sullivan
Succeeded by Alexander Italianer
Personal details
Born (1954-06-16) 16 June 1954
Mount Merrion, Ireland
Alma mater University College Dublin

Catherine Day (born 16 June 1954 in Mount Merrion, Dublin) is a former Secretary-General of the European Commission.[1] She was appointed in November 2005 by President Jose Manuel Barroso and continued to serve with President Jean-Claude Juncker until her retirement in September 2015. She is the first woman to hold the post of Secretary General.


Day has an M.A. in International Trade and Economic Integration from University College Dublin. She has honorary doctorates from University College Dublin, Griffith College Dublin and the University of Limerick.


She joined the European Commission in June 1979, having worked in the Investment Bank of Ireland and the Confederation of Irish Industry before moving to Brussels. Starting in the Industry DG she worked in the cabinets of three Commissioners from 1982 to 1996, first with Mr Richard Burke, next with Mr Peter Sutherland and then with Sir Leon Brittan, whom she served as deputy Head of Cabinet.

In the mid-1990s she worked on the enlargement of the EU to the countries of central and eastern Europe. She chaired the Association Committees with candidate countries and was one of the architects of the pre-accession process.[2] In 2000, she was appointed as deputy Director General in the Directorate-General for External Relations. In 2002, she moved to Directorate-General for the Environment as Director General.

On the 2nd May 2013, US TTIP negotiators insisted the EU drop proposed pesticide banning criteria. Day wrote to Karl Falkenberg asking for the criteria to be removed.[3]

Day signed the denial of the proposed citizens' initiative entitled "STOP TTIP".[4]


  1. EU, WhoisWho. "The official directory of the European Union". Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  2. O'Dea, Ann. "A passionate European: An Interview with Secretary-General of the EC, Catherine Day". Business&Leadership. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  3. "EU dropped pesticide laws due to US pressure over TTIP, documents reveal". Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  4. "Denial proposed citizens' initiative entitled "STOP TTIP"". European Commission. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
David O'Sullivan
Secretary General of the European Commission
Succeeded by
Alexander Italianer
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