American Physical Society

Alison Binkowski - Health Policy Analyst

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Job Info

Government Accountability Office

Position Type:
Public Service

Job skills:
Complex problem solving
Synthesizing information
Team work

Alison Binkowski's Job:
Alison now works for the Government Accountability Office in Washington,  D.C., researching policy issues at the direction of Congress.

My Previous Jobs:
Alison certainly has done fascinating and diverse things after earning her Physics bachelor's degree.  After receiving her dual Physics/Computer Science Degree from Wesleyan, Alison went on to teach high school for a year (math and computer science).   After this, she went on to do a variety of things, mostly volunteering internationally for programs connected with Public Health issues--after getting her EMT certification, Alison volunteered at a clinic in Costa Rica, and at INGO in China (where she also was able to improve her proficiency in Spanish and Mandarin, respectively!).

Alison also worked as a web developer and system administrator for a non-profit in public health and a research group at Columbia University, before getting her masters in International Affairs and in Public Health (at Columbia).

Career Facts

Employer Type:
Government Agency/Laboratory

Current Location:
Washington,  D.C., 20548

Physics Degree:

Educational Information

BS - Physics and Computer Science,  Wesleyan University
MS - International Affairs and Public Health,  Columbia University

Alison Binkowski


Alison Binkowski has had what many people would consider a "non-traditional" Physics career.  Her passion always drew her towards international health care issues, and some of her personal experiences helped form her concern:  "I thought I wanted to work health, " she says,  "but after a summer in Senegal and Mali with the UN where I ended up being hospitalized in Mali for a week, I became more cognizant of the advantages of working on domestic health issues."

Alison believes that her background in Physics and Computer Science has served her well throughout her work.  "Many fields--including international development and health policy--need more people with strong analytic backgrounds."  For this reason, her training was considered an asset by her academic institutions.  "My analytic training was noted as a primary reason why I was offered a partial academic scholarship in graduate school, and what helped me stand out from other candidates to get my current job at the GAO."

Alison says that she was drawn to Physics because she "was always interested in how the world worked: from why objects fall to what was at the "edge" of the universe. I also found the fact that phenomena could be captured and explained by mathematical formulas elegant, appealing, and even a bit spiritual."