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McCain Global Leaders Conclude Legacy Experience in Vietnam

WASHINGTON, D.C –This year’s participants in the McCain Institute’s McCain Global Leaders program recently returned from a seven-day visit to Vietnam. The leaders were joined by five members of the program’s global advisory council on a visit to three cities, where they engaged with Vietnamese leaders from a variety of public and private sectors.

The visit is the capstone event of the 2022 McCain Global Leaders program, entitled the “Legacy Experience.”

As the cohort learned over the 7-day excursion, Senator John McCain’s legacy in Vietnam runs far deeper than his time as a Prisoner of War from October of 1967 to March of 1973. As Senator, John McCain and his colleague and fellow Vietnam War veteran John Kerry led the outreach from the United States to Vietnam that led to the normalizing of relations between the two former foes in 1995.

These efforts led to an economic boom for Vietnam and a drastic uptick in living standards for Vietnamese citizens, while the United States, home to the largest Vietnamese diaspora in the world, has gained a crucial trade and security partner in the South China Sea region.

The 30-member McCain Global Leader delegation, hailing from 23 different countries, stopped in three cities during the Legacy Experience: 1) Ho Chi Minh City, where the cohort engaged with business leaders from corporate giants like Dow Chemical and JPMorgan Chase, to organizations like ASEAN and USAID; 2) Da Nang for cultural immersion and service-based activities; and 3) Hanoi, where the cohort participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the John S. McCain Memorial, toured the “Hanoi Hilton” and met with young Vietnamese leaders at the United States Embassy.

“You come from different geographies with diverse backgrounds. The work you each do may seem unrelated. But the commonality is that it all comes from a place of empathy for others,” said Global Advisory Council Member Nate Mook. “Your starting point is not just a desire to do good, or to build a legacy, but rather to spend your life in service. To listen, to understand the challenges, to feel the pain—and work hand-in-hand with your communities to uplift those you serve.”

“The Legacy Experience was the perfect way to conclude the fellowship year for the 2022 McCain Global Leaders,” said McCain Institute Senior Program Manager for Global Leadership Initiatives Scott Nemeth. “By serving others, engaging with high-level and grassroots leaders and exploring Senator McCain’s legacy in Vietnam – firsthand, our 2022 leaders are more prepared than ever to affect a wave of positive change in their home countries.”

“John McCain had a secret weapon in the struggle for freedom and dignity. It lives on in each of you,” Global Advisory Council Member Elisa Massimino told the 2022 McCain Global Leader Cohort at the John S. McCain Memorial, located near where Senator McCain was shot down in Hanoi, Vietnam.

See the full list of the McCain Global Leaders Advisory Council here.

The application window for the 2023 McCain Global Leaders Cohort is open and will remain open until January 15th, 2023. To learn more about the McCain Global Leaders Program or to apply for the program, visit the program page on the McCain Institute website.

About the McCain Institute at Arizona State University
Inspired by Senator John McCain and his family’s legacy, the McCain Institute at Arizona State University is non-partisan and fights to secure democracy and alliances, defend human rights, protect the vulnerable and advance character-driven leadership in all communities around the world.

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American research university, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

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Publish Date
December 21, 2022