Where They’re Headed: Amelia DiAngelo ’17

The math major is working with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a nonprofit government contractor that helps address national security concerns.

Amelia DiAngelo’s job is real hush-hush. Quite literally, the information she works with is classified. But such secrecy is routine when you work for an organization that confronts vital national security issues. Since mid-June, DiAngelo has been a research associate at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) at their headquarters in Alexandria, Va.

The IDA assembles experts in scientific and technological fields to conduct research and lend advice to their sponsors, which include the Departments of Defense and Energy as well as the National Security Agency. DiAngelo’s current project involves collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security to make anti-terrorism technology safer.

“I love the fact that it’s classified and I can tell people that I’m not allowed to talk about what I’m doing,” she said.

DiAngelo was a math major at Haverford, but when she started her job search, she wanted to deviate from such well-trod paths as data analytics, finance, or academia. Instead, she wanted to work for the public good, and deemed national security a worthy cause.

“The reason that I’m interested in national security is that there are relatively few fields [or] career paths that incorporate technical abilities into work that, in my opinion, betters society,” she said.

DiAngelo hopes to remain in the national security industry, and may decide to pursue a masters degree in the near future after she gains work experience. Staying true to her academic roots, she hopes to keep doing math.

“My dream is to work as a mathematician,” she said. “To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what  that would look like or what I would be doing, but I really do love math, and I would love to be able to have ‘mathematician’ as my job title.”

Though we aren’t allowed to know exactly what DiAngelo is working on currently, her gratitude for her college education is anything but classified.

“I think that going to Haverford made me more curious, a better learner, and better at putting my thoughts into words, all of which are a big help in the professional world, as well as in life in general,” she said.
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.