University of Portland

Anne Santiago PhD

Political Science, Associate Professor

Anne Santiago PhD



Buckley Center 448

Title IX Responsible Employee

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Dr. Santiago is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and Global Affairs.  She brings an attitude of "reckless generosity" to her teaching and service at the University of Portland, toting UP as an institution where she can try out new courses, serve the community generously, and go the extra mile for students. 

In teaching courses in international relations and comparative politics, she challenges students to embrace learning with "reckless generosity"—always trying to understand their own perspectives and those of others, and to confront that discomforting intersection where perspectives clash. We grow in mind and spirit when we are willing to both open ourselves to others' perspectives and to approach new and challenging ideas with openness and humility. Understanding how the world works, and through which lenses we see it, helps us to expand both our knowledge and our compassion for others. And, it gives us the materials we need to go out and change society for the better.  

Dr. Santiago's research interests also reflect her desire to make a positive difference in the world, focusing on projects that may be useful to practitioners in the field. She has published on land tenure practices in Uganda, on the successes and failures of trying to monitor the diamond industry, and on how governments utilize IT in Africa. Currently, she is working on a public-facing book that illuminates the historical roots of a number of social justice issues in the United States. The project is public-facing in that it is aimed at a general audience who may not have the theoretical background to understand our shared history or much experience engaging with people from many different identities, cultures, and beliefs. 

Prior to finding a permanent home at UP, Dr. Santiago worked on USAID grants related to helping to rebuild the National University of Rwanda (2000-2004), and helping development professionals to utilize technology for advancing peaceful co-existence in African states (African Telematics Projects, 2004-2008). In addition, she served in the Peace Corps from 1991-1994 in Mauritania, West Africa. She has also conducted research in both Ghana and Uganda. Dr. Santiago has been married to her husband Roberto, a data scientist and systems engineer, since 2002 and has two children, Xavier (20) and Madalena (17). She is originally from Wisconsin but thinks Portland is the best place to live! 



  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Maryland
  • Master of Arts, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Bachelor of Science, Viterbo College

Curriculum Vitae