McCain Global Leaders Programme For Mid-Career Professionals 2024 (Fully Funded) – APPLY NOW

The McCain Global Leaders Program provides backing to principled leaders from various countries who exemplify Senator John McCain’s commitment to serving a cause larger than oneself.

McCain Global Leaders Programme For Mid-Career Professionals

Structured as a 12-month fellowship and immersive learning experience, each cohort will consist of a diverse selection of 25 leaders from around the world who are actively working to promote democracy, human rights, and freedom.

The program is tailored to enhance each leader’s personal and professional leadership development and influence by offering training, resources, and connections to valuable regional and global networks, to prepare current leaders to confront future challenges.

2024 Global Theme: Defending Democracy

In light of the increasing threats to democracy, human rights, and freedom worldwide, the 2024 McCain Global Leaders Cohort will concentrate on safeguarding democracy. Few challenges are as significant to the global community as the risks posed to democracy by the upsurge in authoritarianism, disinformation, polarization, violent extremism, and conflict. Throughout 2024, participants will delve into the main obstacles to democracy and explore solutions aimed at ensuring the future stability of democracy across the globe.

Following the footsteps of Senator John McCain’s commitment to defending and promoting democracy, freedom, and human rights, the Leaders will embark on a journey that equips them to be advocates for democracy in their home countries and regions.

Programm schedule

Participants will engage in three significant in-person gatherings, complemented by online learning. These events will feature hands-on practical training led by experts and a comprehensive leadership development program inspired by Senator McCain’s legacy, emphasizing peer mentoring and collaborative problem-solving within groups.

  • Summer 2024: The McCain Leadership Curriculum:  Throughout the program, participants will engage in a curriculum delivered both online and in person. The curriculum is designed to integrate lessons and experiences from Senator McCain’s life, to reinforce and enhance in-person interactions, and to emphasize community building and collaborative problem-solving. A key aspect of the curriculum is a dynamic peer-mentorship model, where participants directly support each other’s development. The curriculum aims to help each leader navigate their own path as a catalyst for change, while also providing practical skills that will aid them in addressing significant challenges in their home country and region.
  • Fall 2024 :(Annapolis, M.D. and Washington, D.C.): The inaugural in-person event of the program, the Leadership Experience, brings together all participants for the first time at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and also in Washington, D.C. The 10-day program exposes leaders to the principles that guided Senator McCain’s leadership approach and connects them with experts in their core thematic areas and with key decision-makers. Leaders will also collaborate and work with experts to establish their leadership philosophy and goals.
  • Winter 2024/2025: The Changemaker Tour (Host Country in Each Region):  The program’s second face-to-face gathering brings together each regional group and members of the Global Advisory Council for five-day regional study tours. These tours offer insight into the global issue of defending democracy in a specific country and emphasize the creation of targeted regional connections and networks. Also, they provide the chance to deliberate on solutions and ideas related to the theme. Participants will be encouraged, though not obligated, to explore regional professional collaborations – the McCain Institute will actively support any resulting collaborations. Each region will have a Changemaker Tour for its participants. Past Changemaker Tours have taken place in Colombia, Poland, Singapore, and South Africa.
  • Spring 2025: The Legacy Experience (Vietnam):  The culminating program of the 10-month journey will once again bring all Leaders together in a country of significance to Senator McCain’s own leadership journey. The Legacy Experience is scheduled to occur in Vietnam, where it will explore Senator McCain’s journey and his relationship with the people of Vietnam. During this seven-day trip, Leaders, MGL Alumni, and members of the Global Advisory Council will gather to reflect on their experience during the program, share how their leadership philosophies have evolved, explore professional collaborations, outline the next steps of their leadership journey, and learn about the resources they can access as program alumni.


  • Participants will receive a stipend designed to address incidental expenses during the program. However, the McCain Institute will fully cover the direct costs associated with program participation, including economy-class travel, accommodations, and visas. There will be no participation costs other than the time commitment required for MGLs to engage in the program’s activities.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates should be mid to senior-level professionals, with a proficient command of the English language, and actively engaged in the program’s specified issue areas.
  • Prospective McCain Global Leaders (MGLs) should hold a leadership position in their respective fields and be actively involved in driving positive change within their local communities.
  • Applicants should be dedicated to a cause larger than themselves and willing to fully engage in virtual activities, in-person programs, and post-program alumni initiatives.
  • No minimum educational qualifications are necessary.
  • Individuals from all countries and professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The primary selection criteria for admission into the program include leadership ability and vision, a commitment to serving a cause greater than oneself and meeting all other eligibility requirements.
  • Each year, the McCain Institute will designate specific focus areas for each region of the world or a global theme. For 2024, the global theme will be defending democracy. Applicants should have a proven track record in working with the global theme, regardless of their background or career path.
  • Participants should have at least five years of professional experience or more.
  • While there is no specific age requirement, typical MGLs are generally between 25 and 45 years old.

How To Apply For McCain Global Leaders Programme  for Mid-career Professionals 2024

  • Please be prepared to answer essay questions and have a copy of your resume, and one to two letters of recommendation before proceeding.
  • To apply for this opportunity, please access the online application form.         

Visit the official website of the McCain Global Leaders Programme for Mid-career Professionals for additional information.

Application Deadline

March 15, 2024.

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