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McCain Institute, the George W. Bush Institute, and Economic Policy Research Center Announce 2023 Tbilisi International Conference Agenda

Annual Gathering on September 4-5 Focused on “Defeating Putinism”

TBILISI, Republic of Georgia – The McCain Institute at Arizona State University (ASU), the George W. Bush Institute, and the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) will host the 2023 Tbilisi International Conference September 4 – 5, 2023 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The seventh convening of the Tbilisi Conference, “Defeating Putinism,” will be centered around the political and security challenges posed by Putin’s Russia to frontline states – including the Republic of Georgia —  and will include high-level conversations on Russia’s war against Ukraine, and the future of NATO and the EU.

With Vladimir Putin’s brutal assault on Ukraine’s people and its sovereignty as the backdrop, the Tbilisi Conference will also highlight the ongoing occupation of a fifth of Georgian territory by Putin’s army and will include a Sunday, September 3 visit to the occupation line in Odzisi.

“Georgia is on the front lines of democracy in the struggle against Vladimir Putin’s mafia authoritarianism and his neo-imperial quest for control over neighboring countries and their people,” said McCain Institute Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas. “We are convening in Tbilisi to show Georgians and the world that John McCain’s passion for freedom in Georgia lives on in our work.  And just as he was, we are dedicated to countering Putin’s unique brand of tyranny.”

“Putinism is a threat to the entire region, if not the globe,” said David J. Kramer, the Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute. “Our conference underscores the importance of solidarity with countries on the frontlines as well as the need for those countries to stay on a democratic, Euro-Atlantic path.”

“Amid ongoing military aggression of Ukraine and on the 15th anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, we welcome leading experts and policy-makers from around the world to reaffirm our commitment to democracy and freedom, but also to debate and analyze the tectonic shifts caused by the most serious threat currently facing the free world – Putin’s regime and its aggressive revisionism.  The 7th Tbilisi International Conference will focus on the dangers of Putinism and how the free world can and must act to counter it effectively,” said EPRC Executive Director Nino Evgenidze.

Other key participants in the 2023 Tbilisi Conference, include former U.S. Ambassadors to Ukraine Bill Taylor and John Herbst, former British Ambassador to Georgia Alexandra Hall Hall, former U.S. Congressman Tom Malinowski, Ret. Gen. Ben Hodges with Human Rights First, several members of the European Parliament, Georgian Parliament, and more.

Watch the conference via livestream HERE.

View the conference agenda HERE.

About the McCain Institute at Arizona State University
The McCain Institute is a nonpartisan organization inspired by Senator John McCain and his family’s dedication to public service. We are part of Arizona State University and based in Washington, D.C. Our programs advance democracy and human rights, empower character-driven leaders, combat human trafficking, and prevent targeted violence. Our unique power to convene leaders across the global political spectrum enables us to make a real impact on the world’s most pressing challenges. Our goal is action, not talk, and like Senator McCain, we are fighting to create a free, safe, and just world for all.

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.

About the George W. Bush Institute
The George W. Bush Institute is a solution-oriented nonpartisan policy organization focused on ensuring opportunity for all, strengthening democracy, and advancing free societies. Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Bush Institute is rooted in compassionate conservative values and committed to creating positive, meaningful, and lasting change at home and abroad. We utilize our unique platform and convening power to advance solutions to national and global issues of the day. Learn more at


Publish Date
August 31, 2023