|Parent organization||Arizona State University|
|Headquarters||1777 F Street NW, Washington DC|
|Type||International affairs think tank|
The McCain Institute for International Leadership (MIIL) is part of Arizona State University whose mission is to "advance leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom, and human dignity, in the United States and around the world." The MIIL was formed in 2012 and is named after US Senator and 2008 Republican Party presidential nominee and deep state operative John McCain from Arizona.
MIIL's work is focused on achieving immediate and long-range impact, through activities that improve the ability of leaders to make enlightened decisions in pursuit of the American and global interest. The work has four central themes:
- Provide decision recommendations for leaders through open debate and rigorous analysis, by convening experts, publishing policy-relevant research, and holding decision-making exercises using advanced technology.
- Identify and train new national security leaders, both American and foreign, in the public, private enterprise, and military spheres, including through fellowships and targeted training.
- Play a unique role in a crowded intellectual space, including through the Sedona Forum and the McCain Debates and by serving as a Washington "decision tank".
- Promote and preserve the McCain family spirit of character-driven leadership and national service, including hosting the McCain family archives.
Funding of MIIL comes from a variety of individuals, foundations, and corporations, including Walmart Stores, FedEx, Saudi Arabia, and hedge fund owner Paul Singer. Some of the funders have business before Congress, but McCain's representative has said such actions would not affect his votes.
In January 2017, it was announced that Britain's former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is to take up an academic fellowship at the institution established by John McCain, the main Republican foe of Donald Trump, where the former chancellor will be asked to “build on his skills as a statesman and leader”. Osborne has become the first Kissinger Fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership but, while it is based in McCain’s home state of Arizona, Osborne will remain in the UK.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said Osborne’s “principled leadership during his impressive career can be a model for the qualities promoted by the McCain Institute”. Senator McCain said:
- “George has shown strong and thoughtful leadership throughout his career and proved incredibly able as chancellor. At a time when the great democracies of the world are facing challenges such as we have not seen for generations, we need strong, values-driven leaders like George Osborne.”
George Osborne said he was honoured to have been chosen by the McCain Institute:
- “I look forward to using this opportunity to work with the McCain Institute to see how we best promote our western values and secure a stable world order in this time of change.”
The Sedona Forum is MIIL’s annual high-level gathering of national and international leaders held each spring at the Enchantment Resort in the red-rock country of Sedona, Arizona. The forum convenes global leaders, decision-makers, high-level executives, activists, and diverse experts to discuss solutions to real-world problems—all from the starting assumption of character-driven leadership and core democratic values. Previous guests have included Vice President Joe Biden, Ben Affleck, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The McCain Institute publishes an “Agenda for Action” reflecting the ideas discussed during the forum.
Each year, the forum identifies a theme broad enough to incorporate a variety of views and produce practical recommendations. The 2013 forum focused on “How to Promote Freedom and Democracy Effectively.” Vice President Biden headlined the event, taking part in conversation with Senator McCain on national and international issues, from gun control to immigration to the global economy.
Debate and Decision Series
MIIL sponsors a series of debates. Among the issues debated include US policy on: Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, the defence budget, Egypt and the Arab Spring, drone warfare, and Russia. The debates are followed by a private, non-attribution discussion among the debaters and the senior policymakers present. This creates a “safe environment” for political leaders to discuss issues honestly and without fear of political vulnerability or backlash.
The debates have been expanded to other cities including Phoenix. Each debate brings in about 250 audience members and reaches thousands of people via live-streaming, television, and online viewers. The debates have featured speakers from the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, The New Republic, the Atlantic Monthly, CNN, Fox News, the Wilson Center, Pepperdine University, Human Rights Watch, the Cato Institute, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the RAND Corporation.
The McCain Institute regularly invites senior leaders from the United States and around the world to share personal insights. MIIL is creating a digital archive of these events, available online for students, journalists and scholars. Among the participants are New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, President Bill Clinton, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks, former Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili, and former President of Colombia Álvaro Uribe.
Washington Policy Design Studio
The Washington Policy Design Studio brings Arizona State University students to Washington DC for a semester of intensive class work on the art of foreign policy-making, combined with a DC internship.
Next Generation Leaders program
This program is designed to train a cadre of future world leaders that are assets of the United States, or as local opposition and helpers in regime changes. Both these things the CIA used to finance before 1983, but they are now funneled through front organizations like the McCain Institute.
The McCain Institute’s flagship ‘Next Generation Leaders’ (NGL) program is designed to identify, train, network and empower a diverse group of emerging, character-driven leaders from the United States and around the world. The NGL program offers up to 20 emerging global leaders one year of targeted professional and personal development—with a core focus on values, ethics and leadership—in order to create a capable and lasting global network of character-driven leaders who shape the world we will inhabit in the future. As the Institute links successive classes of leaders together, it creates a global network of advocates for common core values of security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity. 
Next Generation Leaders are individuals with varying professional backgrounds, who even in their early-to mid-careers have demonstrated extraordinary character, commitment to core human values and capacity for future leadership.
Since 2013, the Next Generation Leaders program has trained 45 leaders from around the world in values, ethics and character-driven leadership. The result is a global network of emerging leaders who shape the world we will inhabit in the future. 
The Next Generation Leaders Program has partnered with 42 organizations around the United States, including Fortune 100 companies, government agencies and leading non-governmental organizations.
International participants come to the United States for one year, while American professionals spend the same time gaining new experiences in the United States in an environment different from their home. The program offers a unique blend of professional development, exposure to top-level policymakers and formal training in leadership. At four junctures throughout the year, the program provides hands-on training focused on values, ethics and leadership, media and communications skills, and best practice examples of American business, political and civic life.
A key aspect of the program is each NGL’s preparation of an individual Leadership Action Plan. Aimed at defining the tangible steps and actions the NGLs will take to bring about positive change in their home societies, the Action Plan becomes the central project of the NGL’s development year. Each NGL will take this plan home for implementation upon completion of the program. At four junctures throughout the year, the program provides training in values, ethics, leadership, along with media and communications skills and access to the best examples of American business, political, and civic leadership.
NGLs take their Leadership Action Plans home for implementation upon completion of the program and stay connected to each other and The McCain Institute via the NGL Global Network, a communications platform for LAP follow-up and discussion.
Cadre by year:
2014 Thanh Long Kap Vietnam
Marzina Khan Pakistan
Batu Kutelia Georgia
Cedrian Lopez-Bosch Mexico
Carlos Mayorga Colombia
Soraya Aziz Souleymane Democratic Republic of the Congo
Travis Trammell United States
Giorgi Akhmeteli Georgia
Zaheer Abbas Pakistan
Irina Gotisan Republic of Moldova
Dmytro Kovalchuk Ukraine
Urmo Kübar Estonia
Siham J. Mamand Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq
Sahana Mishra India
Berivan Orucoglu Turkey
Michael Petric Canada
Konstantin Popkov Russia
Sonam Tobgay Kingdom of Bhutan
Christina Williams United States
Veljko Culafic Serbia
Mohammed AlTarawnh Jordan
Kimie Morishita Japan
Branislav Nešović Kosovo
Lida Noory United States
Hafiz Rehmatullah Pakistan
Karambu Ringera Kenya
Sergiy Shtukarin Ukraine
Ife Smith Trinidad and Tobago
Bashar Sorri Palestine
Phirun Meach Cambodia
Peter Klotz Hungary
Eman Elabd Egypt
Rosie Gomez United States
Leon Hernandez Venezuela
Mira Koroma Sierra Leone
Diego Mora Bello Colombia
Dael Dervishi Albania
Ezzeddine Ben Rhima Tunisia
Esra Assery Saudi Arabia
Edlira Gjoni Albania
Talitha Goldmann-Kefalas Germany
Erkaiym Mambetalieva Kyrgyzstan
Nathalie Mondésir Haiti
Gantuya Sainkhuu Mongolia
Ilze Vinkele Latvia
Maryam Faghih Imani Iran
Yaroslav Bekish Belarus
Selamawit Girmay Birhane Ethiopia
Sokayna El Allam Morocco
Ljubomir Filipović Montenegro
Liisa Past Estonia
Aliz Pocsuvalszki Hungary
Liubov Romanova Russia
Kateryna Smagliy Ukraine
Tyesha M. Wood United States
Abdalaziz Alhamza Syria
Modou Sowe The Gambia
Esther Akafia Ghana
Marija Dautartaite Lithuania
Vimal Kumar India
Ximena Lainfiesta Guatemala
Nthabiseng Letsie Lesotho
Jerlie Requerme Philippines
Ledyani Simarmata Indonesia
Zaw Tu Hkawng Myanmar
- "Mission Statement". McCain Institute. Retrieved July 31, 2012.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
- Allison, Bill. "McCain-Linked Nonprofit Received $1 Million From Saudi Arabia". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 February 2017.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
- Schouten, Fredreka (March 28, 2014). "High-powered interests fund McCain Institute". USA Today.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
- "George Osborne takes up academic job at McCain Institute"
- "McCain Debate Series"
- "Leadership voices"