Tana Johnson is Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, where she was awarded tenure in spring 2019. Her work is driven by big puzzles in international relations and by important problems in the real world. In global affairs, what makes delegation and institutional design so challenging? Why do nation-states delegate to international institutions in spite of the challenges? And how could we get things to work better?
Johnson's research uses interviews, analyses of original data, archival research, formal models, and computer-assisted textual analysis. She examines the operations and design of international institutions, particularly those affiliated with the United Nations (UN) system. Her research has been published in top outlets such as International Organization, Journal of Politics, Review of International Political Economy, and Review of International Organizations.
Johnson has received research fellowships from the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University, and from the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University. She also has been an energy policy fellow through the Global Governance Futures (GGF) program, which brings together practitioners and academics from the United States, Japan, India, Germany, China, and Brazil. In addition, she serves as a faculty advisor and instructor for Duke’s Program on Global Policy and Governance, which places graduate students in internships in international governmental and non-governmental organizations in Geneva, Switzerland.