As Senior Grant Writer, Helena Holgersson maintains the Brennan Center’s diverse portfolio of foundation funders with a steady stream (sometimes a tsunami) of persuasive proposals, comprehensive research, detailed reports, and targeted correspondence. She joined the Brennan Center’s dynamic Development team in May of 2017, having served until then as the Senior Grant Writer for the New York City Mission Society, a Harlem-based nonprofit. Previously, Helena worked as a grant writer for Legal Services of New York City, making the lateral move into grant writing after years of working as a freelance writer and editor. Prior to that, she leveraged a background in academia to create custom language-arts curriculum for Kaplan K-12 Learning Services.
In addition to a passionate commitment to social justice, Helena’s love of language has shaped her long career as a writer, editor, and educator. Publications include “Authority’s Shadowy Double: Thomas Jefferson and the Architecture of Illegitimacy,” an essay in Salon, and a column called “Because I Said So” in the now-defunct Motherhood magazine. Her editing work includes popular fare like Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and The Startup Playbook, though she is most proud of the academic editing and “writing-counseling” that has helped scholars from colleges and universities across the globe complete their dissertations and publish their work.
Helena graduated cum laude from Brown University and earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.