Cathy L. Helm, currently deputy inspector general at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, has been appointed inspector general for the Smithsonian, effective July 14. Helm has served in various roles at GAO since 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.
At the Smithsonian, Helm will have the full responsibilities of an inspector general as set out in the Inspector General Act. Her office will conduct audits and investigations related to Smithsonian programs and operations; promote efficiency and effectiveness within the Institution; prevent and detect cases of fraud, waste and abuse; make recommendations regarding existing policies and regulations at the Smithsonian; and keep Congress informed of her audits and investigations.
Helm will be a federal employee and report directly to the Smithsonian Board of Regents and Congress. She replaces Scott Dahl who served as inspector general from January 2012 until last November.