I joined the faculty of the University of Washington‘s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance in 2005. I am Professor of International Studies, Professor of Sociology, and Professor of Public Policy & Governance. I am an Adjunct Professor of Global Health, affiliate faculty of the Center for Global Studies, the Southeast Asian Center. the Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA), and EarthLab. I hold degrees from the Univ. of Michigan (B.S., Natural Resource Management), North Carolina State Univ. (M.S., Sociology and Economics), and the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D., Sociology).

Currently, I serve as director of the UW’s Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology.

I research gender, migration, and environment in many contexts around the globe. Current projects include: 1) social change and migration dynamics, 2) climate change, natural disasters, and population change, 3) several projects related to applied research and training, and 4) global studies research. I have authored work that appears in ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social SciencesDemography, Population and Development Review, Social Science Research, Social ForcesTeaching Sociology, Journal of International Women’s Studies, Ambio, Population & Environment, and Journal of Marriage and the Family Most recent c.v. [August 2020]

New study launched: The Triple C Project is just getting off the ground and will study family and child well being in the context of COVID 19 in four metropolitan areas in the U.S., including Seattle, Durham, Pittsburgh, and New Brunswick/Newark.  This is an exciting multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional collaboration that aims to understand better disparities in race, ethnicity, and class family dynamics and well being during these trying times.

Check it out: I’ve just joined NASA’s User Working Group for Socioeconomic Data and Application Center (SEDAC), housed at CIESIN, Columbia University.

Geek fact.  I love learning about, thinking about, and teaching about social science research methods.  A book I edited with Ellen Perecman is now online through SAGE Research Methods A Handbook for Social Science Field Research.

Fun fact.  I’m a very small investor in the film Manchildwritten and directed by Ryan Koo (the son of DIck Bilsborrow and Helen Koo at the University of North Carolina, both demographers).  Manchild will be released on Netflix April 6, 2018.  You can learn more about the film and the filmmaker here.

Call for Papers.  I am the section editor for the University of California Press’ new journal – Global Perspectives – please consider submitting your work.  I am editing the section addressing Social Institutions, Organizations and RelationsThe journal’s launch was just written up in the Global-e newsletter. You might want to read my recently published essay on how global perspectives can move social science beyond universalisms and internationalisms.

Recent Talks, Quotes and Policy Briefs

On January 28, 2020, I offered a few perspectives on the economic impacts of immigration and the implications of declining net migration trends among Mexican migrants to the U.S. to the online investment site: Wallet Hub.

On November 25, 2019, I participated in a Q&A with Global Perspectives on the goals for our new journal and the section addressing Social Institutions, Organizations and Relations.

On November 25, 2019, I co-authored a blog post with Derek Fulwiller and India Ornelas at IAPHS, regarding the UW’s Population Health Initiative.

On April 23, 2018, I penned an opinion in the Seattle Times regarding the addition of a citizenship question to the Census 2020 form.

On March 15, 2018, I gave a talk about the Rohingya crisis at the International Affairs Forum in Traverse City, Michigan.  Here are a few links to that talk: posted on the JSIS website, on the International Affairs Forum youtube channel.

On January 16, 2018, I was quoted in the New York Times regarding the risks and vulnerabilities of immigration statuses. “Michigan Father Deported After Living In U.S. for Thirty Years.”

On November 22, 2017, Jessica Beyer and I published a working paper on workforce preparedness, stemming from our cybersecurity initiative through the International Policy Institute.

On November 15, 2017, I delivered a talk on the Population Dynamics: Predictions to 2050 for a panel on Solving the Future Challenges of Population Growth sponsored by the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pacific Northwest. You can see highlights of the panel here. Here is a copy of the slide deck, please do not cite or use without permission. Slide Deck.

On November 6, 2017, I delivered a talk on Climate Regimes and Trump for the Trump in the World Series for the University of Washington.

On March 14, 2017, I delivered the 10th D.B. Doran Annual Lecture on Population, Resources and Development at the Hebrew University.  You can view the talk here.  The program is hosted by Hebrew University’s Department of Sociology and Glocal MA Program .

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

Curran, Sara R. 2020. “Global Perspectives on Social Institutions, Organizations and Relations: Beyond Universalisms and Internationalisms” Global Perspectives. 1 (1): 13410.  

Merli, Giovanna, Sara R. Curran, and Claire Le Barbenchon. “Demography and Networks.” Oxford Handbook of Social Networks. Oxford Handbooks Online.  Edited by James Moody and Ryan Light.  Oxford University Press.  2019.

Curran, Sara R. 2019“Global Studies versus International Studies.” Oxford Handbook of Global Studies. Edited by Mark Jurgensmeyer, Saskia Sassen, Manfred Steger. Oxford University Press.

Fussell, Elizabeth, Sara R. Curran, Matthew Dunbar, Michael A. Babb, and Jacqueline Meijer-Irons. 2017. “Weather-Related Hazards and Population Change: A Study of Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in the United States, 1980-2012.” ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. Volume 669 (1): 146-167.

Current Grants

PI, NICHD-P2C, Population Research Infrastructure Grant, 2017-present

Current Service


Section Editor, Social Institutions, Organizations & Relations, Global Perspectives.


Vice President Elect, Population Association of America.

Committee Member, Robert Lapham Award, Population Association of America

University of Washington:

Member, Steering Committee, EarthLab, UW College of Environment

Member, Executive Council, UW President’s Population Health Initiative,

Founding Faculty Advisor, Jackson School Journal of International Studies, 2009-present

Founder, JSIS Global Research Group, 2009-present

Steering Committee, Carnegie Corporation Grant team, Bridging the Divide. 2014-present.

Member, Faculty Council, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

Member, Curriculum Committee, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies