Tanya Heikkila, PhD

Program Director, Master of Public Policy
Co-Director, Center for Policy and Democracy


Email Address: tanya.heikkila@ucdenver.edu

Primary Phone: 303-315-2269

Office Hours: By appointment




Professor Heikkila’s research and teaching focus on policy processes and environmental governance. She is particularly interested in how conflict and collaboration arise in policy processes, and what types of institutions support collaboration, learning and conflict resolution. Some of her recent research has explored these issues in the context of interstate watersheds, large-scale ecosystem restoration programs, and unconventional oil and gas development. Prof. Heikkila has published numerous articles and books on these topics and has participated in several interdisciplinary research and education projects. She enjoys collaborating with faculty and students, especially through the Center for Policy and Democracy (CPD) at CU Denver, which she co-directs. Prior to coming to CU Denver, Prof. Heikkila was a post-doctoral fellow at Indiana University’s Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and an Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. A native of Oregon, she received her BA from the University of Oregon and then learned to appreciate desert life while completing her MPA and PhD at the University of Arizona.

Areas of Expertise

comparative institutional analysis and the management of collaboration and conflict around common pool resources, with an emphasis on water resources

Education, Licensure & Certifications

Doctor of Philosophy in Management
University of Arizona

Master of Public Administration
University of Arizona

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Spanish
University of Oregon

Curriculum Vitae