From 1969 to 1973, Cynthia Helms worked as a producer, special correspondent, and host of Radio Smithsonian, a weekly 30-minute program. In that role, she interviewed museum curators, researchers, and special lecturers. Helms later returned to the Smithsonian and worked as a project assistant between 1977 and 1978.
She served as an honorary trustee of the Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.
Helms is the author of An Ambassador’s Wife in Iran (1981) and Favourite Stories from Persia (1982). In 1970, she co-founded Concern, Inc., an organization of women fighting to tackle environmental issues.