Cathy Helm
Senior Leadership Team

Cathy Helm

Smithsonian Inspector General

Cathy L. Helm is the Inspector General for the Smithsonian. She has the full responsibilities of an inspector general as set out in the Inspector General Act. Her office conducts audits and investigations relating to Smithsonian programs and operations; keeps the Board of Regents and Congress informed about problems and deficiencies found; promotes efficiency and effectiveness within the Smithsonian; prevents and detects cases of fraud, waste and abuse; and makes recommendations regarding existing policies and regulations at the Smithsonian.

Previously, Helm was deputy inspector general at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and served in various roles there beginning in 1979. She became deputy inspector general in 2008; before that she was assistant director for the Office of Inspector General (2004–2008), assistant director for the Human Capital Office (2002–2004) and assistant director for the Natural Resources and Environment Team (1998–2002).

Helm graduated from George Washington University with a master’s in public administration in 1980. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1978 at Western Kentucky University.

Helm is a federal employee and reports directly to the Smithsonian Board of Regents and Congress.

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