Sara Fernandes is Special Advisor at UNU-EGOV. She also serves as manager of the PT-FLAD Chair in Smart Cities & Smart Governance at the University of Minho.
She is responsible for institutional and project development, and fund raising. Recently, Sara successfully established partnerships with UNESCO and UNDESA, negotiated with the Government of Equatorial Guinea a EGOV National Strategy, commencing in May 2017; and negotiated the PASP project, aiming at modernizing the African Portuguese Speaking Countries and East Timor. Recently she commenced negotiations with the USA Government and the World Bank for establishing joint projects in developing countries.
Since 2013, she was part of the working group designated by UNU to develop and establish UNU-EGOV in Portugal. She was responsible for the establishment of UNU-EGOV in Portugal, negotiating with the Portuguese authorities and the University of Minho. She also organized events, fund raising, networking, and built partnerships.
Sara has worked with the United Nation University from 2012 to 2016, but it was in 2010, before joining UNU, that she started working on the establishment of UNU presence in Portugal. From 2012 to 2014 she contributed to the research programme of UNU-IIST as a PhD fellow, and to the EGOV research programme, also at UNU-IIST.
Prior to joining UNU, she worked as a grant holder at the University of Minho, and Data manager in the private sector.
She holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from University of Minho where she is also completing a Doctoral degree. Her research focuses on eLearning, namely on technology enhanced learning, and Electronic Governance, focusing on administrative modernization, open government and smart cities. In 2015, Sara was invited by the Minister for Administrative Modernization of the Portuguese Government to develop their digital agenda for a 4 years’ mandate.
Sara has extensively published in the areas of e-learning, formal methods, and electronic governance. Her Smart Cities book will be published in June 2017.
With more than 20 years of political work, Sara has also been invited to speak nationally and internationally and publish on political strategies, political populism and migration.