Sarah StantonAdjunct Professor, Master of Public Affairs
Town Manager as Teacher
The Town Manager of Bedford, Mass., Sarah Stanton has long been interested in solving problems through public service. She has held several key positions in local government—including budget director for the City of Cambridge, finance director for the City of Salem, and other municipal leadership roles in Ipswich, Woburn, and Haverhill.
To expose students to community leaders and the challenges they could face in the public arena, Stanton incorporates guess lecturers and elected officials into her course.
“Everybody’s voice should be represented to ensure equity, inclusion and good civic engagement – the people at the table should represent the issue you trying to solve.”
Immersing Students into Municipal Life
A strong believer in the value of networking, Stanton encourages students get a taste of what it’s like to solve problems by interviewing public officials about issues such as population growth, budget constraints, and/or transportation challenges, to name a few, and researching the issues that towns and cities face.
Professor Stanton’s career in public affairs and administration:
- Spans 12 years in municipal government, including:
- Town Manager, Bedford, MA
- Budget Director, Cambridge, MA
- Finance Director, Salem, MA
Her research interests include:
- Housing policy and reform – in particular, housing inequity and the need for housing options for the elderly
- Improving access to transportation
- Issues related to community equity, inclusion, and engagement
Stanton is also a marathon runner.
“Teaching makes me a better Town Manager. It fuels my interests and keeps me sharp.”