Sarah T. Romano is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs.
Prof. Romano holds a PhD in Politics and Latin American & Latino Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.A. in Spanish and International Affairs from the University of Puget Sound. Her research centers upon questions of access to natural resources, water in particular, and the politics of participation surrounding resource governance.
From 2004-2008, Prof. Romano investigated civil society resistance to water privatization in Managua, Nicaragua. Originally written for Public Citizen, her report on the Nicaraguan anti-water privatization social movement is now hosted by Food & Water Watch. Supported by IIE Fulbright and the UC Pacific Rim Research Program, Prof. Romano’s most recent project involved thirteen months of field research in Nicaragua to document how water users’ associations, nongovernmental organizations, multilateral agencies and state actors manage freshwater resources. In particular, her work examines how community-based water users’ associations are transcending their rural localities as resource managers in order to engage in fundamentally new forms of political engagement, advocacy and networking at national and transnational scales.
Prof. Romano teaches in the areas of Latin American politics, environmental politics, globalization, social movements, and collective action. Courses she has taught include Democracy, Citizenship and Human Rights; Organizing across the Americas; and Problems in Latin American Politics. Forthcoming classes taught at UNC include Global Issues and Latin American Politics, among others.
Prior to starting her academic career, Prof. Romano worked in the non-profit sector in Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado. She interned with the Cuba Project at the Center for International Policy, contributing to the organization of Congressional forums and educational delegations to Cuba. As a Program Associate with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, Prof. Romano designed and implemented participatory curriculum to promote youth-adult partnerships within nongovernmental organizations based in D.C., New York, Atlanta, and Phoenix. She also worked at OMNI Research and Training in Denver, Colorado, as a research assistant for projects in the areas of criminal justice, youth development, and public health.
When she’s away from her desk, Prof. Romano enjoys rock climbing, hiking, live music, camping, and walking excursions with her dog. See her personal website for a link to her complete CV and description of research and teaching.