I grew up in Sparta, NJ – first generation American and a product of public education. At 18, I ran as a write-in candidate for County Committeewoman. I earned a seat at the table in the very first election I could participate in, and was re-elected twice. My passion to facilitate positive social change through advocacy and policy has been the cornerstone of how I have lived my life.
I currently work for a government contractor where I serve a number of federal clients in health, behavioral health, education, justice, and the environment. I understand how federal policy and agency work can affect state and local programs and resources. In 2017 I became a contributing writer to HuffPost, highlighting bi-partisan efforts and best practices, while highlighting important social issues. For 14 years I ran a national nonprofit organization in Maryland that addressed gaps in our publicly funded programs and systems experienced by survivors of violence and psychological trauma. Leaders in Congress and the federal government have called upon me as an expert on behavioral health, violence and bullying prevention, child abuse and neglect, criminal justice, family and domestic violence, and trauma informed support. In 2016, I was appointed to the Maryland Governor’s Family Violence Council, and I have served on the U.S. Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Advisory Group for more than a decade. In 2010, I received the U.S. Congressional Unsung Hero Award for my effective advocacy work on violence prevention and response. My LinkedIn profile includes more information about my career, and the many articles and research papers I have authored and presentations I have given.
My passion to address social concerns and facilitate positive change stems from a very personal experience. In 1993, I was nearly beaten to death as a victim of a random attempted murder. Since that time, I have been a passionate advocate for prevention and supportive responses for survivors. I believe the most important part of the healing process is when you take a dark experience and do something positive with it – and I have lived my life trying to do just that.
On a personal note, I am a distance runner having completed 15 marathons. I facilitate a community art collaboration that is proving to build personal and community resilience. I love nature and appreciate the gift of Rock Creek Park with old-growth trees and wildlife. I have lived in Montgomery County for more than 20 years, and enjoy living in Randolph Hills with Sofia and Nevan (my teenage twins) and Coco and Pepper (our dogs).
The Campaign Team
Jennifer Sinclair, Treasurer
Jennifer Sinclair is a Research Specialist for an NIH contract with Charles River Laboratories, Inc. She has served on professional committees, including a grant selection committee, and local boards, including that of her alma mater. Her decision to support the campaign of Helga Luest stems from her desire to advocate for those who are most vulnerable in our communities and support a candidate whose initiatives will enhance and preserve our communities.
Both Jennifer and Helga are members of the Montgomery County Road Runners Club, which is where they met a number of years ago.