Kateryna Yushchenko graduated in 1982 from Georgetown University with a bachelor's in international relations and economics. In 1986, she earned her MBA at Chicago Booth. She then headed to Washington DC to work as the special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for human rights and human affairs and also held several positions at the White House, the Department of the Treasury, and the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.
As the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Yushchenko was energized by Ukraine's independence and, as a KPMG consultant, trained Ukrainians in Western methods of banking, accounting, and other fundamentals of the market economy. In 1993 Yushchenko met her future husband, Viktor Yushchenko, while leading a US-sponsored study tour for Ukrainian bankers. They began working together on behalf of Ukrainian orphans, a cause about which they were both passionate. Viktor Yushchenko became president of the Ukraine in 2004 after a contentious election.
As First Lady of the Ukraine, Yushchenko expanded upon her long and exemplary history of civic involvement.