Apply for the McCain Global Leaders Program 2024 – Fully Funded and Open to Applicants of All Nationalities

Welcome to the McCain Global Leaders Program, a transformative 12-month fellowship designed to cultivate character-driven leaders dedicated to causes greater than themselves. This immersive experience, inspired by the legacy of Senator John McCain, seeks to empower a diverse cohort of 25 leaders worldwide who are actively engaged in advancing democracy, human rights, and freedom.

Program Overview

Mission and Vision

At the heart of the McCain Global Leaders Program is the commitment to shaping leaders who can effectively address the challenges of tomorrow. The program is meticulously structured to provide training, resources, and unparalleled access to regional and global networks. This holistic approach aims to propel today’s leaders into impactful roles, equipped with the tools necessary to navigate and overcome the complexities of our ever-evolving world.

Thematic Focus: Defending Democracy

The 2024 cohort will focus on defending democracy, considering the escalating threats posed by authoritarianism, disinformation, polarization, violent extremism, and conflict. Embracing Senator McCain’s legacy, leaders will delve into the primary challenges to democracy, explore potential solutions, and strive to ensure the future stability of democracies worldwide.

Global Connection and Impact

To address the dynamic global landscape, the program adopts a regional and global approach. Each cohort member will engage in both regional and global programming, fostering connections with a targeted professional peer group in their home region while simultaneously building a diverse global network.

Leadership Impact

Leaders are selected through a competitive, open recruitment process. The program places emphasis on diversity, encompassing gender, ethnicity, persons with disabilities, political viewpoint, economic background, and education. While there is no strict age requirement, leaders typically range from 25 to 40 years old.

Cohort 2024 Programming Schedule

Summer 2024

The McCain Leadership Curriculum forms the backbone of the program, integrating online and in-person sessions. This curriculum draws inspiration from Senator McCain’s life, promoting community building, group problem-solving, and a dynamic peer-mentorship model.

Fall 2024 (Annapolis, M.D. and Washington, D.C.)

The Leadership Experience, a 10-day in-person event, exposes leaders to Senator McCain’s leadership principles, connects them with thematic experts, and facilitates the establishment of individual leadership philosophies and goals.

Winter 2024/2025

The Changemaker Tour, hosted in each region, brings regional cohorts together for a five-day study tour, focusing on defending democracy. This event encourages the exploration of regional professional collaborations actively supported by the McCain Institute.

Spring 2025

The Legacy Experience in Vietnam serves as the capstone event, bringing all leaders together to reflect on their journey, share evolving leadership philosophies, explore collaborations, and plan the next steps of their leadership journey.

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Application Details

The application window for the 2024 cohort is now open, with a deadline of March 15, 2024. If you are a leader dedicated to defending democracy and eager to contribute to a global network of changemakers, we invite you to apply here.

For any inquiries, please email [email protected].

Join us in the McCain Global Leaders Program, where leaders become global catalysts for positive change.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the eligibility requirements?

Applicants should be mid to senior-career professionals, possess working proficiency in English, and actively work on the focus issue areas of the program. Aspiring McCain Global Leaders (MGLs) should work in a leadership role in their field, actively be “in the arena,” and strive to enact change in their home communities. Applicants should be committed to serving a cause greater than oneself and participate fully in virtual engagements, in-person programs, and post-program alumni activities. There is no minimum educational requirement.

2. What is considered senior or mid-career? Is there a specific age requirement?

Participants should have at least 5 years or more of career experience. There is no specific age requirement; however, typical MGLs range from 25 to 45 years old. Past participants have come from various sectors, including members of parliament, government ministers, journalists, medical doctors, activists, NGO leaders or managers, and academics.

3. Is the McCain Institute looking for individuals with a specific professional background or from a specific country?

The McCain Institute selects target sectors and issues specific to each program year. Applicants from all countries and professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The key criteria for acceptance into the program are leadership capacity and vision, commitment to serving a cause greater than oneself, and fulfillment of all other eligibility requirements.

4. What is the application deadline?

The application period is from January 2, 2024, through March 15, 2024, at midnight Eastern Standard Time. Applications must be received during this period to be considered.

5. How long is the program? What are the start and end dates?

The program is 12 months long, beginning in June 2024 and running through May 2025. Participants are expected to participate in all virtual and in-person programs for the entire program year.

6. What are the expectations of an MGL for the program year?

MGLs are required to be present during all program modules, both in-person and virtually. The program includes approximately 25 days of in-person programming spread across three different travel experiences, along with a monthly 6-8 hour time commitment for virtual programs. MGLs must adhere to a code of conduct emphasizing respect, character, and professionalism. They are also required to familiarize themselves with entry requirements for host countries, obtain entry visas, and may pursue individual or collaborative professional projects.

7. Will I receive a stipend?

Yes, participants will receive a stipend to cover incidental expenses throughout the program. Direct costs of participation (economy class travel, hotels, visas) will be fully covered by the McCain Institute. There is no cost of participation other than the time commitment MGLs make to the program.

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