Catherine Kenny


Catherine Kenny


334 Mrak Hall
530-752-3140 (office)
530-400-9199 (mobile)

Catherine loves working as a professional communicator because it’s never boring. She learns something new practically every day and likes that work is full of surprises. Over the years, her work has involved everything from helicopter tours and rock-climbing to going inside the decommissioned Rancho Seco nuclear power plant, interviewing firefighters at wildfire basecamp operations, and seeking out little known sites of Native American petroglyphs.

As a member of the executive communications team, Catherine develops speeches and other materials for Chancellor Gary S. May. She has 15 years of experience writing speeches, talking points and other communications for government leaders and elected officials.

Before joining UC Davis, she served as a communications manager at the California Department of Veterans Affairs, where she managed the agency’s blog and wrote speeches and other communications for the chief executive. She spent most of her career in local government, serving as public communications manager at the city of San Jose, and working in communications roles at the city of Oakland, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and as a contractor for Arlington County, Va. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Humboldt State University and is happy to be back in school again, even if unofficially.

Favorite books

Letters to a Young Artist by Anna Deavere Smith, A Brief History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.

Guilty pleasure

Bollywood. I especially like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Kahn. Veer Zaara, anyone? Bring on the popcorn.

Do I have any bragging rights?

I went to the DMZ numerous times while serving in the U.S. Army’s Second Infantry Division in the ROK. Because I am a woman, overnight stays were prohibited. I had to be off by 6 p.m.