For more than 15 years, Helly has supported national nonprofit and government institutions in advancing programs that serve immigrants, refugees, and other communities facing systemic barriers to wellbeing. A policy strategist and analyst, Helly has advocated for more equitable policies in a myriad of areas that impact the prosperity and economic mobility of communities of color, including education, health, and nutrition access. She has also partnered with national and local leaders to build organizational capacity and train community leaders to be effective policy advocates. Helly is particularly passionate about working with ethnic community-based organizations to devise and promote solutions that make a difference.
Previously, Helly served as community relations director at the Minnesota Department of Human Services and an advisor to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She holds a master’s of social work in social policy and evaluation from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s in social work from the University of St. Thomas.