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Chief Operating Officer

The McCain Institute is seeking a collaborative and operationally-savvy leader to serve as its next Chief Operating Officer (COO). Nationally known as a high-level convenor and a do-tank, the McCain Institute’s programs, research, and events build upon Senator John McCain’s drive to turn ideas into action and action into impact. This is an exciting opportunity to lead the McCain Institute into its next decade, promoting the legacy and vision of Senator McCain across the U.S. and the world and continuing his fight to create a free, safe, and just world for all.

Inspired by the legacy of Senator John McCain and his family, the McCain Institute fights for democracy, human dignity, and security. The Institute, located in downtown Washington, DC, is part of Arizona State University (ASU) and is a nonpartisan organization that includes and benefits diverse groups across the globe and brings Arizona to Washington and the world to Arizona. Anchored by three pillars – advancing democracy, human rights, and character-driven leadership – the McCain Institute is uniquely positioned to convene leaders across the global political spectrum and give them the capability and drive to enact change, resulting in a tangible impact on the world’s most pressing challenges. Since its inception over ten years ago, the McCain Institute has experienced tremendous growth and has remained responsive to current issues facing society, all while embodying the morals and ideals of Senator McCain.

The incoming COO will have the opportunity to be a key leader at the Institute, helping to manage the Institute’s continued upward trajectory. Through the strategic direction and management of the operational, development, and financial aspects of the Institute, the COO will provide critical leadership, organizational management, internal communications, and an innovative vision consistent with the mission of the Institute and Arizona State University. As part of the Executive Management Team led by Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas and including the Chief Program Officer (CPO), and in partnership with ASU leadership, the next COO will advance programming, manage operations, and effectively lead a team of dedicated staff members in fulfilling Senator John McCain’s vision of fighting for democracy, human dignity, and security.

The relationship with ASU remains paramount to the future success of the McCain Institute. The COO will be expected to serve as a liaison to ASU to increase philanthropic endeavors, assess and implement operational infrastructure and processes, and improve communication and collaboration with academic and administrative leaders. Despite the geographic distance, the COO will work to maintain and preserve the crucial relationship between ASU and the Institute, working diligently to advance the ideals and goals of both entities.

The successful candidate will be an innovative and collaborative problem-solver who embodies the values personified by Senator McCain, including character, integrity, and a commitment to personal and professional excellence. A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a related field and eight years of directly related operational experience, including four years of experience in a senior leadership role in a culturally diverse organization or any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities have been achieved is required.

The successful candidate will also bring many of the following qualifications:

  • Ten years prior senior management role, including organizational fiscal accountability with a proven track record of exceeding goals, evidence of strong/solid decision-making, and successful facilitation of progressive structural and functional change/development in a growing and culturally diverse organization.
  • Experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals, including a willingness to think creatively;
  • Comfort with problem-solving complex issues, meeting deadlines, problem-solving when problems arise, and nimble decision-making;
  • Experience in managing and prioritizing multiple projects simultaneously;
  • Experience in working with a high degree of confidentiality and discretion;
  • Ability to provide strategic and operational guidance to external communications team;
  • Ability and experience with coordinating and prioritizing work and activities for oneself and others;
  • Demonstrated track record of proactivity and the ability to take initiative while operating within broad guidance parameters;
  • Highly effective written and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability and prior experience in working effectively in an environment with tight deadlines;
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Experience in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships;
  • Evidence of leadership, maturity, sensitivity, teamwork, and collaborative abilities;
  • Analytic skills and the ability to briefly summarize information from various sources;
  • Experience creating and managing budgets;
  • Excellent judgement and experience working with a high degree of confidentiality and discretion;
  • Commitment to the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and culturally sensitive and educated to interact effectively with a wide range of colleagues.

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.