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Securing Our
Insecure World

The 2024 Sedona Forum was held May 3 – 5, 2024, with the theme, “Securing Our Insecure World.” With the climate crisis as a backdrop, we examined the greatest challenges to democracy, human rights, and global security and how America and our allies can manage aspects of our increasingly insecure world. Panel topics covered challenges posed by autocracies to the international order and U.S. values and interests, the impact of technology on democracy, defense and development, food, human security, climate, and more.

2:30 pm - 2:40 pm

Welcome Remarks

Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Executive Director, McCain Institute
Dr. Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University

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2:40 pm - 2:50 pm

A View from Arizona

Introduction by Rick Davis, Partner, Stonecourt Capital & Chairman, Board of Trustees, McCain Institute

Gov. Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s 24th Governor
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3:00 pm - 3:45 pm

Democracy Delivers: An Economic Case for an Uncertain Era

Sec. Janet Yellen, United States Secretary of the Treasury

In Conversation With:
• Moderator: Dr. Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University (TBC)
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3:50 pm - 4:30 pm

Weapons of War: Combating Sexual Violence

Introduction by Kristen Abrams, Chief Program Officer, McCain Institute
Dr. Denis Mukwege, President & Founder, Panzi Hospital and Foundation

In Conversation With:
Sheryl Sandberg, Founder, Lean In
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4:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Democracy in the Balance

• Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, United States Senator, Arizona

In Conversation with:
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, Democracy Reporter Based in Arizona, The Washington Post
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5:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Presentation of the In The Arena Award

Presentation by Gov. Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s 24th Governor

Hans Vestberg, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Verizon
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7:05 pm - 8:45 pm

The Sedona Leadership Dinner

Welcome Remarks by Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Executive Director, McCain Institute

Presentation of the Courage & Leadership Award:
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Remarks by Jack McCain, Board Member, McCain Institute
Tribute Video to Alexei Navalny

Presentation by David Axelrod, Founding Director, University of Chicago Institute of Politics, CNN Senior Political Commentator, & Professor of Practice, Arizona State University

• Remarks: Ms. Dasha Navalnaya

Keynote Conversation:
Introduction by Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Executive Director, McCain Institute

Sec. Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State

In Conversation with:

Sen. Mitt Romney, United States Senator, Utah

Remarks and Video Introduction:
Kristen Abrams, Chief Program Officer, McCain Institute

Tribute Video to Secretary Henry Kissinger

Conclusion:
Rick Davis, Partner, Stonecourt Capital & Chairman, Board of Trustees, McCain Institute
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8:40 am - 8:45 am

Opening Remarks

Rick Davis, Partner, Stonecourt Capital & Chair, Board of Trustees, McCain Institute
Scott Jablow, Mayor of Sedona

8:45 am - 9:00 am

An Update from Ukraine

Virtual Remarks from Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ukraine

In Conversation With:
Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Executive Director, McCain Institute

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9:05 am - 9:45 am

Democracy and the Digital Revolution

Introduction by Lev Gonick, Chief Information Officer, Arizona State University

Sen. Joe Manchin, United States Senator, West Virginia
Damon Wilson, President & CEO, National Endowment for Democracy

Moderator:
Sarah Margon, Director, Foreign Policy, Open Society Foundations

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9:45 am - 10:30 am

Global Hot Spots: Russia & Middle East

Introduction: “Support Ukraine” video

Garry Kasparov, Chairman, Renew Democracy Initiative
Vali Nasr, Professor of International Affairs & Middle East Studies, SAIS
Amb. David Pressman, United States Ambassador to Hungary

Moderator:
Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Executive Director, McCain Institute

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10:45 am - 11:30 am

Tools of Statecraft: Wrongful Detainees and Hostage Affairs

Amb. Roger D. Carstens, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, U.S. State Department
Sen. Peter Welch, United States Senator, Vermont

Moderator:
Seung Min Kim, White House Reporter, The Associated Press

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11:30 am - 12:15 pm

US Deterrence Strategy in Asia

Rep. Brendan Boyle, United States Congressman, Pennsylvania’s 2nd District
Jon Finer, Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States
Sen. Mark Kelly, United States Senator, Arizona

Moderator:
Courtney Kube, Correspondent, NBC News

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12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

"A Cause Greater Than” Lunch: Political Courage

Introduction by Steve Duprey, Former Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party

Gov. Chris Sununu, New Hampshire’s 82nd Governor

In Conversation With:
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Director, University of Chicago Institute of Politics & Board Member, McCain Institute

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1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Surviving “America First”

Rep. Jason Crow, United States Congressman, Colorado’s 6th District
Amb. Alexandra Hall Hall, Former Ambassador to Georgia, Writer, Byline Times, & Co-host, "Disorder" Podcast
Amb. Martin Kimani, Kenyan Ambassador to the United Nations

Moderator:
Josh Rogin, Columnist, The Washington Post

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2:30 pm - 3:15 pm

Law of the Sea Versus China's Maritime Adventurism

Adm. Linda Fagan, Commandant, United States Coast Guard
Sen. Todd Young, United States Senator, Indiana

Moderator:
Paul Kane, Senior Congressional Correspondent, The Washington Post

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3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

Can Transparency Curb Corruption?

Sen. Bill Cassidy, United States Senator, Louisiana
Gen. Laura Richardson, Commander, United States Southern Command
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, United States Senator, Rhode Island

Moderator:
Roberto Patiño, Founder, Mi Convive and Director, Institute 2100

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4:15 pm - 5:00 pm

Analysis of US Elections: 2024 and Beyond

David Axelrod, Founding Director, University of Chicago Institute of Politics, CNN Senior Political Commentator, & Professor of Practice, ASU
Rick Davis, Partner, Stonecourt Capital & Chair, Board of Trustees, McCain Institute

Moderator:
Kelly O’Donnell, Senior White House Correspondent, NBC News

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5:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Closing Remarks

Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Executive Director, McCain Institute

Thoughtful Leaders. Decision Makers. Activists and Experts.

The Sedona Forum is the McCain Institute’s annual, high-level gathering of national and international leaders held each spring in the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. Starting from the assumption of character-driven leadership and core democratic values, The Sedona Forum convenes thought-leaders, decision makers, activists and diverse experts to discuss approaches and solutions to real-world problems.