Angel joined Clark's faculty in 1987 as Assistant Professor of Geography. He was awarded a named chair, the Laskoff Professor of Economics, Technology and Environment in 1997. He became a full professor in 2002.
As an economic geographer, Angel specialises in research on technological and industrial change and the possibilities for better environmental regulation by industry. Latterly he has been working in developing nations on energy efficiency issues. He has conducted research in Poland, the US, UK, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan, and published four books and numerous articles.
Angel became Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Clark in 2003, responsible for all academic programs at the University. He was named the University's 9th President on July 1, 2010. He replaced John Bassett.