Graduating summa cum laude as a political science major, Cathy Bissoon received her Bachelor of Arts from A.U. before continuing to Harvard to earn her Juris Doctor. Following law school, she worked in the Pittsburgh office of Reed Smith before taking a leave of absence to work as a law clerk for Judge Gary L. Lancaster of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She later joined the Pittsburgh law firm of Cohen & Grigsby, serving as director and head of the Labor & Employment Group.
In 2008, she was chosen as a United States Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She became the first woman of color to sit on the federal bench in Pittsburgh and the first woman of Indian descent to sit on a federal court in the United States.
President Barack Obama appointed her as a United States district court judge in 2011, and following her confirmation, she became the first Hispanic female Article III judge in Pennsylvania and the first Asian American Article III judge in Pennsylvania. She has since been awarded the 2010 Athena Award, which honors female leaders who exemplify excellence, creativity, business initiative, and empower other women. She was additionally honored with the 2010 Women of Integrity award for leading, mentoring, and supporting others.