Austin Elsie Helen was a Baha'i pioneer, diplomat, administrator, and distinguished lawyer. She was the first black woman graduate of the law school at the University of Cincinnati and in 1937 became the first black woman to serve as assistant attorney general in Ohio. She became a Baha'i in the mid-1930s. During these years she rose through positions of increasing responsibility within the District of Columbia and the U.S. government. From 1939 to 1944, she served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta, a public service sorority. Her Baha'i service included membership of the local Spiritual Assembly of Cincinnati. In 1945 she was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada. In 1953 she went on pilgrimage and met Shoghi Effendi. On returning to the United States she resigned from the National Spiritual Assembly to fulfill a pioneer goal of the Ten Year Crusade. She arrived in Morocco in May 1953 and in so doing earned the title Knight of Baha'u'llah for that country.