The Sedona Forum

The Sedona Forum is The McCain Institute’s annual, high-level, private gathering of national and international leaders held each spring at The Enchantment Resort 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, decisionmakers, activists and diverse experts to discuss approaches and solutions to real-world problems. Past speakers have included former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Actor/Director Ben Affleck, CEO's from GE, Chevron, Walmart-USA, Fedex, Freeport MacMoRan, and Hewlett Packard, and Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, experts and civil society leaders from around the world.

The Sedona Forum has grown into an exceptional, high-level gathering of key leaders from the worlds of business, politics, foreign policy and civil society, aimed at exploring and developing recommendations for action on key challenges facing the United States and the world.

The initial Sedona conference and planning session in 2012 touched on “Challenges for America and Freedom in the World.” Highlights included a conversation on the Congo with Ben Affleck, a discussion on leadership with Gen. Jack Keane, and a panel on America’s role in elections with U.S. Senators Ayotte (R-NH), Graham (R-SC), Kyl (R-AZ), and Whitehouse (D-RI).

The Sedona Forum 2013 focused on “How to Promote Freedom and Democracy Effectively.” Vice President Joe Biden headlined the event, taking part in an extraordinary conversation with Senator John McCain that touched on a wide range of national and international issues, from gun control to immigration to the global economy. Subsequent panels examined various aspects of the effort to strengthen freedom and democracy globally.

The Sedona Forum 2014 focused on “Crises in the Middle East” and brought together global leaders from business, government, civil society, and public policy for in-depth discussions on critical challenges facing the United States and the world. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton each joined Senator McCain for a tour-d’horizon of global crises, and American leadership. CEO’s from major American companies including Walmart, GE, Chevron, FedEx, and Freeport MacMoRan offered perspectives on the global economy, and experts on the Middle East and Russia gave insights into the challenges in those regions. U.S. Senators Ayotte, Corker (R-TN), King (I-ME), and Whitehouse took part in a further conversation about America’s global role, and Mrs. Cindy McCain led a conversation with U.S. Senators Klobuchar (D-MN) and Heitkamp (D-ND) and Human Rights First’s Elisa Massimino on human trafficking.

The Sedona Forum 2015 focused on the strategy of the United States and the world’s democratic community in navigating an unprecedented range of global crises. The conversation between Senator McCain and former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair stood out for its candid survey of the state of the world. Other sessions were no less striking: the eye-opening conversation between Mrs. Cindy McCain and Demi Moore on human trafficking, the insights into the global economy and personal leadership provided by some of America’s leading CEO’s, the insights into leadership from the world of sports, and the perspectives on the Middle East, Russia, and other global challenges provided by leading experts, several U.S. Senators, and distinguished panelists from the United States and around the world.

Each year, The Sedona Forum identifies a theme that is intended to be broad enough to incorporate a variety of views and to produce a series of practical recommendations. The McCain Institute’s Sedona Forum will continue to bring together the best of the best in order to seek solutions to global challenges and to influence and inspire the next generation of character-driven leaders.

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