Picture of Tahnee Prior

A 2015 Trudeau Scholar and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar, Tahnee Prior seeks to understand what a legalized international governance structure that could account for the complexity and rapid change of the Arctic could look like and how we can get there. She explores this topic at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, where she is a PhD Candidate in Global Governance at the University of Waterloo.

Tahnee is a team member of an Academy of Finland research project on Human Security as a Promotional tool for Societal Security in the Arctic, she is a research assistant to Dr. Suzanne Lalonde and Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer on EU-Canada Arctic Strategies, and she is collaborating with other Arctic scholars to develop a platform where individuals can share their research on women in the Arctic.

Previously, she was the lead researcher of a project on climate change and human rights at the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, in Rovaniemi, Finland. This project was commissioned by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs with the aim of identifying how Finnish foreign policy can help address the climate vulnerability of indigenous peoples and women. While at the Arctic Centre, Tahnee was also an editorial assistant to Dr. Timo Koivurova and Nigel Bankes during the final stages of The Proposed Nordic Saami Convention, a book that builds on the legal chapter of the Arctic Human Development Report and aims to strengthen the recognition of indigenous property regimes in Arctic states.

During her Masters in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, she was a CIGI Junior Fellow and research assistant at the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Enterprise and Development. Her Masters’ thesis, on polycentricity in the governance of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic, was published in the Yearbook of Polar Law (2013) and presented at the 2011 Falling Walls LAB (100 scholars under 30) at the International Conference on Future Breakthroughs In Science and Society.

Tahnee sits on the board of the Thousand Network, where she is co-building a community of young change makers. She is also a mentor with the Future Global Leaders Foundation, a member of the Tromsø-Umeå-Arkhangelsk-Rovaniemi-Kingston Network on Gender and Law, the University of Waterloo Complexity Working Group, the Balsillie School of International Affairs Environment Working Group, the Nordic Research Network for Sami and Indigenous Peoples’ Law, the Arctic Social Sciences Association, the Association of Early Polar Career Scientists, and the Sandbox Network. She is an alumn of the Falling Walls Lab.

Academic / Professional Awards

  • Trudeau Foundation 2015 Scholarship
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarship
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • President’s Graduate Scholarship
  • Balsillie Doctoral Fellowship
  • CIGI Junior Fellowship
Environment and Resources
  • MA Global Governance, Balsillie School of International Affairs, 2012
  • BA International Relations (major), Economics (minor), and Germanic Studies (minor), Franklin University Switzerland (formerly Franklin College Switzerland), 2010


  • Contributing Author on. 2015. Shaping Change in the Arctic; Arctic Resilience Report.
  • Tahnee Lisa Prior. 2014. Engaging Complexity: Legalizing International Arctic Environmental Governance. (Working Paper) Paper Presentation at Fifth International Four Societies Conference Australian National University Canberra July 1-2.
  • Heinämäki, Leena and Tahnee Lisa Prior. 2014. The Rights and Role of Indigenous Women in Climate Change Regulation..
    Tromsö-Umeå-Archangelsk-Canada Network on Gender and Law Publication (Working Paper) Paper Presentation at the Arctic/Northern Women: Law and Justice Development and Equality Conference at Queens University Canada; Feb 28 – March 1st (forthcoming).
  • Craik, Neil and Tahnee Prior. 2014. Retreat from Principle: Canada and the Formation and Maintenance of the System of International Environmental Law.. In edited by Debora VanNijnatten Don Mills Ont: Oxford University Press Canada (forthcoming).
  • 2014. https://www.holstee.com/blogs/mindful-matter-2014-04/13099933-northern-enlightenment> Northern (En)Light(enment): Changing the way we think about the Arctic. “Northern (En)Light(enment): Changing the way we think about the Arctic” for Holstee’s Series on Mindful Matter.
  • Prior, Tahnee Lisa, Sébastien Duyck, Leena Heinämäki, Timo Koivurova and Adam Stępień. 2013. https://bit.ly/18GzM7s. Rovaniemi Finland: University of Lapland Press.
  • Prior, Tahnee Lisa. 2013. Breaking the Wall of Monocentric Governance: Polycentricity in the Governance of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic.. In edited by Alfredsson Gudmundur Timo Koivurova and David Kenneth Leary Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
  • Absence, not Abundance: Where to begin with gender issues in Arctic communities? for Contours Magazine.

Related Research Interests

See All Students
  • Picture of Aria Ilyad Ahmad

    Aria Ilyad Ahmad's research interests include global health governance and international pharmaceutical policy.

  • Photo of Francis Fortune

    Frances' broad research interests are governance challenges and policy setting in post conflict countries.

  • Picture of Clay Dasilva

    Clay’s research centers on the concepts of green growth and degrowth in global environmental governance.

  • Photo of Jonathan Hui

    Jonathan's research interests are in the discipline of futures studies, the futures of work and labour, and the intersections between…