Mission Statement

The McCain Institute is dedicated to advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity.

Guided by values that have animated the career of Senator John McCain and the McCain family for generations, the McCain Institute is a non-partisan do-tank dedicated to advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity – in the United States and around the world. The Institute seeks to promote humanitarian action, human freedom and democracy, and national security, and to embrace technology in producing better designs for educated decisions in national and international policy.

Based in Washington, D.C., the McCain Institute is part of Arizona State University. Its work is focused on achieving both immediate and long-range impact, through activities that maximize the ability of leaders to make enlightened decisions in pursuit of the American and global interest. Four central themes guide all of the Institute’s work:

  1. Provide decision recommendations for leaders through open debate and rigorous analysis, including by convening experts, publishing policy-relevant research, and holding decision-making exercises using cutting-edge technology.
  2. Identify and train new national security leaders, both American and foreign, in the public, private enterprise, and military spheres, including through fellowships and targeted training.
  3. Play a unique role in a crowded intellectual space, including through the Sedona Forum and the McCain Debates and by serving as Washington’s preeminent “decision tank.”
  4. Promote and preserve the McCain family spirit of character-driven leadership and national service, including by hosting the McCain family archives.

The McCain Institute measures success by its ability to have tangible impact on the nation’s and the world’s most important issues and debates. It aims to challenge conventional wisdom, make action recommendations, attract and train high-quality staff and fellows, and influence policy. It draws upon Senator and Mrs. McCain’s ability to convene leaders and focus attention on issues and events, and on Arizona State University’s world-class faculty, institutions, and facilities.