Ms. Romanik leads USAID’s work to reduce and prevent ocean plastic pollution through the Municipal Waste Recycling Program and the Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program. In addition to providing policy advice, Ms. Romanik spearheads strategic partnerships with the private sector, including a blended finance partnership with Circulate Capital to increase private sector investment in waste management and recycling. Ms. Romanik has also conducted comprehensive Urban Assessments for USAID Missions, provided Agency guidance on Urbanization and the Journey to Self-Reliance, and designed and conducted training on Domestic Resource Mobilization in Urban Areas.

Educational Background

Ms. Romanik received her BA in international studies at American University and an MPA in economics and public policy at Princeton University.

Regional experience

Ms. Romanik has worked in 35 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Latin America/Caribbean, including Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Serbia, Jordan, Lebanon, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Panama.

Previous Experience

As Chief of Party of USAID’s Decentralization and Local Government Program in Kyrgyzstan, Ms. Romanik’s leadership was instrumental in bringing about the country’s first local economic development strategies and transparent competitive land auctions of municipal property, Parliament’s passage of intergovernmental fiscal reform that brought greater transparency and predictability in the transfer system, introduction of a new property tax, and dissemination and adoption of citizen participation and public information practices. As UNDP Local Governance Specialist, Ms. Romanik conceptualized and managed a 12-country regional program, created a Self-Assessment Tool and UNDP’s first Programming Handbook on Sustainable Local Development, that synthesizes lessons from almost 50 case studies from the environment, poverty reduction, conflict prevention and recovery, health, and governance practices.


  1. Urbanization and the Journey to Self-Reliance
  2.  Ethiopia Urban Assessment
  3.  Financing the Growth of Cities