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Senator John McCain’s Foundation donates millions to fund eponymous International Leadership Institute at ASU

Arizona State University is about to launch yet another well-funded and ambitious institute of change, to be headquartered at its Tempe campus. The McCain Institute for International Leadership, named for and funded by Arizona Senator John McCain, is a nonpartisan and nonprofit education and research center that will focus on promoting character-driven leadership, as well as research and decision-making in the areas of humanitarian work, human rights and national security.

“The charge of the McCain Institute for International Leadership fits in perfectly with Arizona State University’s core mission of having a significant positive impact on the larger community,” says ASU President Michael Crow. “We’re grateful to Senator McCain for his support of this important university endeavor.”

That support includes a nine million dollar gift from the McCain Institute Foundation, a charitable trust founded by McCain some years ago. The Institute will have a Washington, D.C., address, as well as its presence at ASU, and will seek to train future leaders from the United States and abroad with programs and internships concerned with political and economic policy research. It will, Crow says, “be guided by the values that have animated the career of Senator McCain: a commitment to sustaining America’s global leadership role, promoting freedom, democracy and human rights, as well as maintaining a strong, smart national defense.”

The university has cited international humanitarian crises and economic competition as the impetus for the new program, which will be overseen by former U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker, as its executive director. “The McCain Institute has a real opportunity to fill some gaps in Washington – first, by building future international leadership through a fellows program, and, second, by engaging directly with senior decision-makers in developing, analyzing, testing and promoting the implementation of innovative policies,” says Volker, who has directed similar programs at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

The Institute, set to commence in early 2013, will include the cartel-driven violence and drug-trade along the U.S.-Mexico border among its concerns.

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