Helen joined Keep America Beautiful as President and CEO in May 2017 with more than 20 years of leadership experience in the areas of international diplomacy and development, youth engagement, environmental education, disaster resilience, global leadership, volunteerism, social justice, and human rights.
From 2010 to 2017, Helen served as an appointee of the President of the United States in the senior foreign service and the senior executive service. Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful, she was Director-Individual and Community Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington, D.C., overseeing programs to increase citizen and community preparedness while encouraging disaster and crisis resilience.
Previously, she served in a variety of roles with the Peace Corps, directing Peace Corps’ largest U.S. headquarters’ office and working with leadership on strategic reforms related to volunteer recruitment and admittance. She earlier served as Regional Director for Europe, Middle East, and Asia, Peace Corps’ largest geographic region.
Earlier in her career, she managed environmental education events and initiatives with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). While in Texas, she served on the Board of Directors of two Keep America Beautiful Affiliates: Keep Austin Beautiful and Keep El Paso Beautiful. Helen, who speaks four languages, is a graduate of Austin College and received her Master's degree in International Economics and Development from the University of Denver, Joseph Korbel School of International Studies.
She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Antioch University, Graduate School of Leadership and Change. She is a Board member of PYXERA Global and was a Peace Corps volunteer for three years in Thailand.