Posted on 01/08/2012
BSc Social Science & Administration, 1977 Bedford College and Honorary Fellow
Cathy Ashton is prominent on the international political stage as the EU’s ‘Foreign Minister’. She has been Europe′s first ever High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security and Vice-President of the European Commission since 2009. She replaced Lord Mandelson as EU Trade Commissioner in 2008, having previously been a UK cabinet member as Leader of the House of Lords. She was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Constitutional Affairs and Government Spokesperson for Constitutional Affairs at the Lord Chancellor's Department from 2004-07. Previously, she was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sure Start, focusing on early education for children and family support, jointly at the Department for Education and Skills and Department for Work and Pensions. Her first ministerial appointment was as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for School Standards in 2001.