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2024 Worldwide IRI’s McCain Leaders Fellowship for Freedom Programme

Applications for the McCain Leaders Fellowship for Freedom’s third cohort are now been opened by the International Republican Institute (IRI). This is an initiative to honor the legacy of Senator John McCain by helping the next generation of democrats world-wide.


With the McCain Fellowship for Freedom which was established in 2019, they have been well guided by the belief about political and economic freedom that characterized Senator McCain. The Global Governance Forum has been the host to 16 global leaders from 15 countries, that allowed the policymakers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to exchange ideas.

Program Overview

The McCain Leaders Fellowship for Freedom, a joint program of IRI and the McCain Institute for International Leadership, consists of a select group of individuals who fervidly champion issues related to freedom, democracy, and human rights. As one of its objectives, the new initiative is to discover, coach, and motivate leaders who contribute to the principles and values of democracy.


The scheme provides fellows with chances for research, advocacy, and leadership development in their areas of expertise. Global outlook is its core educational pedagogy, thus leading to joint efforts and cooperation among the participants coming from a diverse backgrounds to expand freedom and democracy everywhere.

Values and Principles

The fellowship, which is fully in line with the ideas about human rights, the rule of law and democracy espoused by Senator McCain, seeks to strengthen these principles. It is a motivator for a positive change, making leaders get involved and become the advocates and the change-makers in their communities and countries.

Selection Criteria

McCain Fellows encompass those between age 21 to 40 who exhibited a perseverant relentless of democracy promotion with demonstrated leadership qualifications in tough conditions. The IRI will select a maximum of eight leaders from differing constituencies including regions, fields, and genders.

  • Between the ages of 21 and 40;
  • Not a U.S. citizen;
  • Proficient in English;
  • Possesses robust experience in politics, government and/or private sector, with a preference for individuals with cross-sectoral experience;
  • Demonstrates a proven history of and passion for advocating for democratic and free market reform;
  • Maintains a position of authority and leadership within their current career and community.

Nomination Requirements For The Worldwide IRI’s McCain Leaders Fellowship for Freedom Programme

Applicants are expected to submit a letter of nomination for their participation in the McCain Leaders Fellowship for Freedom. The nominator should be someone you know well in a professional context who can speak to your qualifications for the fellowship.

Specific points to highlight in the nomination letter: 

  • How applicant has promoted democratic resiliency and free market principles within their community;
  • How the applicant has demonstrated their leadership capacity and protentional to be a political changemaker within their community; and
  • How the applicant is uniquely positioned to be an exceptional McCain Fellow and how will the fellowship benefit their development as a political changemaker.

The nomination letter should be no more than one page and written in English.

Application Deadline:  9:00 AM EST on November 27, 2023.

For More Information,

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