Joya Bandstra Helmuth

Senior Director of Global Operations

South Bend

Joya Helmuth leads the full scope of NDI operations including facilities, systems and technology management, communications, marketing, operational policy and processes, and international travel safety. As a member of NDI’s leadership team, she partners with several campus divisions to lead NDI’s strategic alignment with University policies and practices and to manage shared services agreements between these divisions and NDI to ensure both effective and efficient operations globally. From May 2019 to June 2020 she also served as interim executive director for the London Global Gateway.

From early 2014 until September 2016 Helmuth worked at the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, where she led the education and training division in addition to communications and outreach. The division’s projects included the USAID | Notre Dame Global Development Fellowships; and the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Notre Dame, flagship program of the U.S. Department of State's Young African Leaders Initiative. While at NDIGD, Helmuth sourced and led the proposal that led to a two-year, $1.15 million USAID partnership with Balkh University, Afghanistan.

Before joining Notre Dame, Helmuth worked as a trainer for Apple, Inc. in Cupertino, California and Mishawaka, Indiana; and as owner of Spark Design Studio in South Bend, providing full-service graphic design, marketing, and branding services to local and regional clients. During a concurrent four-year tenure as the owner of retail store Spark Fine Stationery, she co-founded ShoLo Independent Business Alliance, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy organization for local businesses in St. Joseph County, Indiana.

Helmuth holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Trinity Christian College and a master of science in communication from Purdue University. In 2021, she completed the John Affleck-Graves Excellence in Leadership: High Performance Program at the University.