Skip to main content

McCain Institute Names Ambassador Josette Sheeran Executive Chairman

WASHINGTON (January 28, 2021) The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University (ASU) announces Ambassador Josette Sheeran, a founding trustee of the Institute, will join the Institute leadership team in a newly created position: executive chairman of the McCain Institute. Sheeran has also been named professor of practice at ASU. As the McCain Institute enters its 10th year, Sheeran will oversee a strategic evaluation of the Institute’s mission and programs with a goal of ensuring transformational impact in the U.S. and the global community through the vision of its namesake, Sen. John S. McCain.

Additionally, the Institute announces that Executive Director Mark Green has accepted an appointment as president, director and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Green led the McCain Institute during the COVID-19 pandemic, successfully transitioning many of the Institute’s programs onto virtual platforms and expanding its global reach. The Institute will soon launch an executive search to recruit a new executive director.

ASU President Michael M. Crow said he wishes Green the best at the Wilson Center: “I appreciate the hard work he gave to the Institute. We look forward to future collaboration with him at the Wilson Center.”

Sheeran is a humanitarian and diplomatic leader, with a track record of deploying effective solutions on the front lines of challenges facing humanity. She served as president and CEO of the Asia Society and UN special envoy for Haiti, where until the end of 2020 she directed successful global efforts to end a cholera epidemic. She has served as executive director of the UN World Food Programme, which was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, and vice-chair of the World Economic Forum. She has also served as U.S. undersecretary of state for economics, energy and agriculture, and as deputy U.S. trade representative, with the rank of ambassador. Her TED Talk on “Ending World Hunger” has been viewed more than 1 million times. In 2011, she was recognized by Forbes as the 30th most powerful woman in the world. Sheeran is on the boards of Capital Group global investment funds; AGRA, which is transforming hunger and farming in Africa; Canoo, a leader in electric vehicles; and the McCain Institute.

Chairman of the McCain Institute Board of Trustees Cindy McCain said: “The Board of Trustees is very proud of the advances the Institute has made over the last nine years and is very excited that my good friend and fellow trustee, Ambassador Josette Sheeran, is joining our leadership team to help reimagine the Institute for the next 10 years. We are dedicated to promoting character-driven leadership as my husband, John McCain, exemplified throughout his life of public service. Josette has been a dedicated trustee of the Institute since its inception and a full partner in its development. I can’t imagine a better person to help create a bridge for the Institute into the next decade.”

President Crow also welcomed Sheeran to ASU and the Institute: “We look forward to working with Ambassador Sheeran. As America works to rebuild and advance strategic alliances around the world, we will leverage ASU’s global resources to advance the McCain Institute agenda. Josette is a transformative leader who brings a wealth of experience to the ASU ecosystem, and we are excited about her involvement.”

“I have been honored to serve as a founding trustee at the Institute and want to thank Cindy McCain for putting her trust in me to help develop a strategy for the Institute to advance its impact in Washington, D.C. and around the world,” Ambassador Sheeran said. “At this crucial moment in history, there is no better organization to demonstrate its commitment to global democratic ideals, character-based leadership, and America as a force for good in the world.”

About the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University
Inspired by the character-driven leadership of Sen. John S. McCain and his family’s legacy of public service, the McCain Institute implements programs and initiatives to make a difference in people’s lives across a range of critical areas: leadership development, human rights, rule of law, national security, preventing targeted violence and combating human trafficking.

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.

Publish Date
January 28, 2021