Before coming to CFR, Helm served as director of alumni relations and development at the Potomac School, a nationally acclaimed K-12 independent school in McLean, VA. While there, she organized and launched a highly successful, three-year, $50 million campaign. During the 2004–2005 academic year, her department managed the school's Centennial Celebration, which led to a new school record of annual giving and a doubling of participation in alumni programs.
Helm began her career in higher education administration, working in admissions, communications, and development positions at Roanoke College and the University of Virginia. From 1987 until 2001 she served in the external affairs office of the Brookings Institution, where she managed corporate and individual fundraising and worked on communications and board activities, including the institution's 75th anniversary campaign and gala celebration. She also served as vice president for external affairs at the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation from 2001 until joining the Potomac School in June 2002. She has served as a fundraising consultant to a variety of educational, cultural, and healthcare organizations.
A native of Towson, MD, she is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia. She is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and former chair of the Development Committee of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington.