Helene has served over 17 years in municipal government, as mayor, city councilmember, and housing authority commissioner for the City of Santa Barbara, California. Covering California and Arizona as part of the National Initiatives Team, Helene serves as a bridge between federal, statewide and local stakeholders to support and enhance efforts to end homelessness and facilitate connections on related policies, resources and best practices. As an elected official, Helene focused on affordable housing policies and best practices in ending homelessness. She served as policy council chair on the countywide homelessness collaborative board, chaired the U.S. Conference of Mayors Hunger & Homelessness Task Force, and served on the League of CA Cities Board of Directors. She earned an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from Skidmore College.