Senator John McCain built a legacy on making progress in the face of adversity. Steadfast in his principles and beliefs, Senator McCain approached every problem by seeking common ground with the other side. “Our political differences, no matter how sharply they are debated, are really quite narrow,” McCain famously stated, “in comparison to the remarkably durable national consensus on our founding convictions.” The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University honors Senator McCain’s example, working in the arena with local and global groups in a non-partisan fashion to convene, educate and act to benefit all Americans and the world we share.

The McCain Institute is inspired by the legacy of Senator McCain, his family and their commitment to advancing American principles of democracy, alliances and security, advancing character-driven leaders and advancing human rights to end exploitation and extremism. As a do-tank, the Institute’s programs build on Senator McCain’s drive to turn ideas into action and action into impact. As a part of the country’s most innovative university, the McCain Institute includes and benefits diverse groups across the globe through non-partisan programs and initiatives–bringing Arizona to Washington and the world to Arizona.

Three Pillars

Programs of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University are based on three core pillars that Senator John McCain championed his entire life and designed to maximize effectiveness, reach and impact.

Advancing Democracy, Alliances and Security

Senator McCain believed "America's greatest strength has always been its hopeful vision of human progress." Democracy, and the people powering it, will continue to flourish even in the face of uncertainty around the world.

Advancing Human Rights and Ending Exploitation and Extremism

Senator John McCain said, “Human rights exist above the state and beyond history. They cannot be rescinded by one government any more than they can be granted by another.” In the absence of human rights, little progress is possible.

Advancing Character-Driven Leaders

Leaders at all levels understand that their values must inform their decisions to build trust and promote the desired impact. As Senator John McCain liked to point out “our interests are our values and our values are our interests.”

Our Impact

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Fostering constructive non-partisan solutions to forge common ground
Training, educating, and improving skills to build capacity
Driving tangible impact through strategic communication
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Assembling key actors to build new pathways by convening stakeholders
Championing innovative and sustainable solutions by advocating for change
Protecting against extremism and exploitation by fostering resilience
Building enduring international connections and Arizona partnerships

The Institute’s signature annual event, the Sedona Forum, as well as quarterly Sedona Forum Live digital events, bring leading voices from around the world together to discuss the pressing issues relating to the Institute’s three pillars. Held in the red rocks of Sedona, Ariz., the forum provides a unique opportunity for leaders from around the world to have face-to-face discussions about real solutions to the problems facing the globe.

Our Strategy

Direct Action
Address challenges directly through action-oriented programs.
Constructive Engagement
Provide a forum for public debate through events like the Sedona Forum.
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Convening Experts
Assemble subject-matter experts for solution-oriented and substantive conversations.
Developing Young Leaders
Enhance the talents of the best and brightest.
Advocating for Change
Advancing solutions to our most pressing challenges with values and clear-eyed leadership guiding the way.

Calling
Arizona Home

The McCain Family has long called Arizona home, and the partnership with ASU, one of the world’s largest research universities, offers unique advantages. By drawing upon ASU’s world-class students, faculty, institutions and facilities, the McCain Institute helps bring Arizona to Washington, and the world to Arizona.

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Get In Touch

ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
1800 I Street NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC, 20006