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Fifth annual Sedona Forum convenes leaders to discuss solutions to today’s pressing challenges

Washington (April 24, 2017) — Top government officials, business leaders, human rights leaders, humanitarian workers and U.S. senators from both sides of the aisle were among the featured speakers at the fifth annual Sedona Forum held this past weekend, April 21-23, 2017, by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.

The forum brought together decisionmakers, thought leaders and prominent figures from civil society to discuss some of the most significant challenges facing the United States and the world.

“In a world that is increasingly connected, in the face of threats like Russian aggression and humanitarian crises, working together with leaders across the aisle and across the globe is critical. The Sedona Forum lets us to do just that – engage in in-depth dialogue with national and international leaders about the challenges we face today,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), who attended the Forum for the first time, said, “I appreciated the opportunity to openly engage with such a diverse group of leaders as we discussed a wide range of issues, including the U.S.-China relationship. I’m confident our conversations this weekend will have many important repercussions in the weeks and months to come.”

To foster candid debate and discussion, the Forum was off-the-record, with the exception of a session on the continued fight against human trafficking. The discussion focused on the international scope of the trafficking and featured Nick Grono, CEO of the Freedom Fund; Kevin Hyland, United Kingdom Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner; Cindy McCain, Chair of the McCain Institute Human Trafficking Advisory Council; and was moderated by Ernie Allen, Principle, Allen Global Consulting LLC.

“The McCain Institute at Arizona State University exceeds its ongoing commitment to character-driven leadership through its important, open exchange of ideas – as seen through the Sedona Forum,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow, who spoke at this year’s meeting. “By bringing together such a diverse and accomplished group, the McCain Institute reinforces its commitment to solution-based approaches to the world’s biggest problems.”

Every year, the Sedona Forum brings to Arizona influential military, political, humanitarian and human-rights leaders for a weekend of discussions about critical global challenges. The highlight of the 2017 session included a keynote conversation between Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, USA, National Security Advisor to President Trump. Other notable participants include John Chambers, Executive Chairman, Cisco; Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence; Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada; Adm. Harry Harris, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command; Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND); Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE; Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Founder, Open Russia; Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation; Gen. David Petraeus, USA (Ret.), Partner, KKR, and Chairman, KKR Global Institute; Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE); Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, USA, Commander, U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Singapore; Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security Advisor; and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

View the full agenda, speakers and list of participants.

About the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University

Guided by values that have animated the career of Senator John McCain and the McCain family for generations, ASU’s McCain Institute is a non-partisan, do-tank dedicated to advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity – in the United States and around the world. The Institute seeks to promote humanitarian action, human rights and democracy, and national security, as well as embrace technology in producing better designs for educated decisions in national and international policy.

Learn more about the McCain Institute at