Diego Romero is a PhD candidate specializing in Political Economy. He also works as a researcher for the Machine Learning for Peace project at Devlab@Duke. He is interested in issues of governance, in particular corruption and accountability. His research explores how individuals, in their roles as ordinary citizens or managers of firms, use connections to politicians and bureaucrats to obtain privileged access to public services or public procurement contracts. In his dissertation, he builds an argument to explain how networks of political favoritism operate in public contracting, and tests it using a comprehensive dataset of municipal procurement in Guatemala in the period 2013-19.