Teddy Roosevelt had it right:  “It is not the critic who counts…”

We’re about leaders and citizens of character – In The Arena – fighting to defend human rights, foster security and advance freedom.

Inspired by Senator John McCain and the McCain family legacy of public service, Arizona State University’s McCain Institute for International Leadership champions character-driven leadership and civic engagement in the United States and abroad.

Our five core programs are all action-oriented and mutually supporting.

The Next Generation Leaders program prepares and networks emerging leaders from tough spots around the world.

International Rule of Law & Security steeps students in the law and policy of promoting fair and equitable justice systems, and assists in the development of legal systems that ensure fundamental rights and national security.

Combatting Human Trafficking educates stakeholders, trains authorities and fields long-term mechanisms to eradicate an unconscionable scourge.

Human Rights & Democracy convenes a uniquely effective working group of principals, gives voice and protection to a growing list of activists, and is mounting a national campaign to redefine how we talk and act.

And our Counterterrorism & National Security program has set out to increase U.S. capacity to challenge homegrown extremism, build an international community of young counterterrorism professionals and forge international partnerships.

Euromaidan “Revolution of Dignity” — Kiev, Ukraine, Dec. 2013

In Action

McCain Institute: Join Us -- In The Arena
The Sedona Forum 2018 Humanitarian Focus with Cindy McCain and Ashton Kutcher
Next Generation Leaders Impact Video 2017


McCain Institute and National Network for Youth Team Up: Initial project to certify service providers on best practices to counter human trafficking of vulnerable youth in U.S.

Part of a wider new partnership, McCain Institute and the National Network for Youth (NN4Y) today announced a certificate program for runaway and homeless youth service providers on how to…

Interview with Senior Director of Human Trafficking Kristen Leanderson Abrams

A Q&A with the Senior Director of Human Trafficking at McCain Institute about her recent educational mission to uncover the driving forces behind refugee asylum in Mexico. Kristen Leanderson Abrams…

United States must remain a refuge for those fleeing persecution and violence

Providing protection to people in search of refuge is a core tenant of international law, based on fundamental principles of humanity and human rights. International refugee law requires all states…

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Modern slavery most prevalent in North Korea, Eritrea and Burundi with the crime estimated to affect more than 40 million people worldwide, says @WalkFreeFdn | Check out our latest on #humantrafficking #modernslavery for @TR_Foundation https://t.co/MlbDOAIHF1

Gonzalo Martinez de Vedia, Program Manager of the Buffett-McCain Institute Initiative to Combat Modern Slavery, joined the #IntheArena to discuss the progress of his multi-year interdisciplinary study of labor trafficking in the United States. https://t.co/sBuaTMLQeG

New op-ed from Nick Rasmussen, Director of the Institute’s Counterterrorism Program:

"Presidents Keep Thinking of Terrorism as a Distraction. That’s Dangerous.” https://t.co/TBvLpLJ9CJ