An expert in the Cabinet of Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, Patricia is responsible for higher education policy, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).
Patricia qualified as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin in 1996, and worked in mixed clinical practice until 2001, when she joined the Irish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. In 2004 she moved to the Irish Embassy in Warsaw as Ireland's first Agricultural Attaché to Poland. On return to the Department of Agriculture in 2008, she re-joined the National Disease Control Centre, where her work involved veterinary international trade policy, management of Ireland's Border Inspection Posts and contingency planning.
In addition to her veterinary qualifications, Patricia is a graduate of the King's Inns, Dublin (law). Other academic qualifications include an MSc in European Food Regulation and a Diploma in European Law from the Law Society of Ireland.
As a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (2010-2014), Patricia was responsible for health and consumer protection and bioeconomy research, as well as communications and Joint Research Centre coordination.