Inspector General

Portrait of Cathy Helm

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 at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. She was deputy inspector general; before that she was assistant director for the Office of Inspector General, assistant director for the Human Capital Office, and assistant director for the Natural Resources and Environment Team.

Helm graduated from George Washington University with a masters degree in public administration. She earned her bachelors degree at Western Kentucky University.

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

Counsel to the Inspector General

Epin Christensen is the Counsel to the Inspector General. The Counsel to the Inspector General provides independent legal advice to the Inspector General and OIG staff.

Assistant Inspector General for Audits

Joan Mockeridge is the Assistant Inspector General for Audits. The Office of Audits conducts audits of the Smithsonian’s existing and proposed programs and operations to help improve their efficiency and effectiveness.  The office develops a risk-based annual audit plan to guide its work.  The Office of Audits also actively monitors the external audits of the Smithsonian’s financial statements.

Assistant Inspector General for Investigations

David Dummer is the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations. The Office of Investigations pursues allegations of waste, fraud, abuse, and gross mismanagement; misconduct by employees, contractors, and others who affect the Smithsonian; and criminal violations of law that have an impact on the Smithsonian’s programs and operations.  It refers matters to federal, state, and local prosecutors for action whenever the Inspector General has reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of criminal law.  The Office of Investigations also presents any administrative misconduct to management for possible disciplinary action.

Assistant Inspector General for Operations

William Hoyt is the Assistant Inspector General for Operations. The Office of Operations provides technical and administrative support.  It is responsible for OIG administrative matters, such as budgeting, procurement, human resources, information technology, and measuring organizational performance.