Kerry Lanzo

Bachelor of Arts 2015, International Affairs & History

Kerry Lanzo began her career in international security after graduating in '15 with a B.A. in International Affairs and History and with experience interning for the federal government, think tanks, and consulting agencies. She served as a consultant for the Department of Homeland Security as an Exercises Analyst and for the Department of Commerce for the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service for three years. In September 2018, she moved to London to pursue her Masters in International Relations at the London School of Economics and to get back to traveling without the constraints of PTO.


What excites you about the work you do? Working in international security, I love grappling with the most serious crises of the day and analyzing them through various lenses, including human life impact; tactical and strategic consequences; ethical considerations; gendered/classist/racial political views; and more.

What is the most significant career experience you've had so far, and what made it meaningful to you? I was running an exercise with first responders, policymakers, and industry leaders that practiced responding to a complex coordinated terrorist attack in downtown Chicago (involving multiple assailants/gunmen, potential improvised explosive devices, and hostage situations) just three days after the November 2015 ISIS Paris attacks. It was the most "real" anything in my career had ever seemed to me, knowing that we had designed this fictitious scenario over several months at the same time that the assailants had been planning this fatal incident. As a result of the Paris attacks, exercise participants were more dedicated to the discussion and I was more dedicated to my tasks in preparing individuals to help prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from these events.

Advice for current UHP students: The first few months - or year - after graduation will be harder than you expect, and that's ok! Your job may not be perfect and your friends may be far away, but it's a period of transition just like all others, and it, too, will pass.

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