Dr. Helen Katherine Mackintosh, 83, a retired chief of the elementary schools section of the old U.S. Office of Education, died of uremia Monday at the Oak Meadow Nursing Home in Alexandria.

Dr. Mackintosh, who maintained her own home in Alexandria until she moved to the nursing facility 10 months ago, joined the Office of Education in 1938. During her years with that organization, she was a consultant to state and local school systems and contributed to several books published by the Office of Education or other professional organizations.

She also participated in a number of international conferences and projects.

She was a consultant to the education division of the U.S. Military Government in Austria in 1947, coordinated an Inter-American Demonstration Center project, served as a consultant in the Panama Canal Zone in 1962, and was a member of a team of specialists who spent several weeks in Cambodia and Vietnam in 1954. She was a member of a cultural exchange group that visited the Soviet Union in 1958.

In 1956-1957, Dr. Mackintosh was the president of the National Council of Teachers of English. In 1956, she received one of the 10 Career Service Awards given that year by the National Civil Service League. After leaving the government, she continued her work as a teacher, writer and consultant on education.

Dr. Mackintosh was born in Hopkinton, Iowa. She earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in education and English at the University of Iowa and was a teacher in the university elementary school for three years. She later was a supervisor in the Grand Rapids, Mich., public school system and taught in the schools of education at the universities of Pittsburgh, Iowa, Michigan and elsewhere.

In Alexandria, Dr. Mackintosh was a founding member of the Presbyterian Meeting House and was active in the American Association of Univerisity Women.

She leaves no immediate survivors.