Anne Santiago PhD

Political Science, Associate Professor

Anne Santiago PhD



Buckley Center 437

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Dr. Santiago is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science.  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, and to question our preconceived notions about faith, justice, and living the good life.

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 open ourselves up to being vulnerable to others' perspectives and to approaching new and challenging ideas with openness and humility. Understanding how the world works, and through which lens we see it helps us to expand 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 exploring how political leaders in East Africa utilize their influence in order to try to advance modernization agendas amongst their constituents. She also utilizes her research in the classroom in order to show students how research can be applied or implemented within the world outside academia, as well as worked with a number of students on data collection and analysis, supervising student research projects for credit.

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 to 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 (15) and Madalena (12). 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