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International Republican Institute IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom, USA 2024

Application is now open for the International Republican Institute IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom. Interested candidates are encouraged to send in their applications before the deadline date.

About International Republican Institute and Fellowship

In 1982, during the height of the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan delivered a speech to the British Parliament. In this address, he issued a call to action for freedom-loving nations to actively support and nurture the foundations of democracy in countries where democratic principles were either absent or underdeveloped.

To continue the legacy of Senator John McCain, who served as IRI’s Chairman for 25 years, the IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom (MFF) was established. This fellowship program aims to bring together young leaders from diverse regions across the globe. Its goal is to carry forward Senator McCain’s vision of cultivating a new generation of democratic leaders across every continent.


Since 2019, IRI has been working to realize Senator McCain’s vision of advancing political and economic freedom on a global scale through the McCain Fellowship for Freedom. The fellowship program was created as a tribute to Senator McCain’s unwavering belief that true free markets can only flourish when they are accompanied by free and empowered individuals.

The program assembles young leaders who share a commitment to fostering democracy and economic liberty. These emerging leaders engage in dialogue with policymakers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and other influential figures. Through these exchanges, they gain fresh insights and innovative strategies for effectively promoting democracy and governance that places the interests of citizens at its core. Since its inception, IRI has welcomed 16 global leaders from 15 different countries to participate in the program.

Details about the International Republican Institute IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom:

Scholarship Sponsor: International Republican Institute, USA

Scholarship Value: Check Below

Number of awards: N/A

Study level: Fellowship

Host Institution(s): International Republican Institute, USA

Courses: Leadership


McCain Fellows will be expected to engage in an intensive, multi-month program that encompasses the elements listed below, among others: 

  • Fellows will participate in virtual sessions that are tailored to provide targeted assistance and development in skills related to policymaking, effective communication, and advocacy.
  • The fellowship offers an opportunity for an in-person program in the United States, specifically in Washington, D.C. During this program, fellows will have the chance to meet and learn from leaders in various sectors, including government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The timing of this in-person program will be coordinated based on the availability of the selected cohort.
  • After participating in the fellowship, fellows are encouraged to use the knowledge, network, and lessons gained from the program to initiate and implement advocacy initiatives within their communities. The goal is to empower fellows as young political changemakers capable of making a positive impact.
  • Fellows will have opportunities to engage with other fellows, including those from previous iterations of the MFF program. Virtual networking sessions and platforms provide a means for ongoing collaboration, knowledge sharing, and building a strong network of like-minded individuals dedicated to promoting democracy and freedom.

Eligibility Criteria for International Republican Institute IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom

Rising political figures between the ages of 21 and 40 who are dedicated to advancing economic and political freedom in their nations are known as McCain Fellows. They have an established history of success and leadership in demanding settings. They represent the capacity to have a revolutionary influence on their organizations, societies, and nations. Through this initiative, these up-and-coming leaders will be integrated into IRI’s worldwide network spanning over 100 countries, utilizing their expertise and connections to accelerate their contributions toward the advancement of free societies. 

Based on the following standards, IRI will choose up to eight young leaders who represent various areas, industries, and gender identities:

  • Between the ages of 21 and 40; 
  • Has extensive experience in the political, governmental, and/or private sectors; cross-sector experience is preferred;
  • Not a U.S. citizen;
  • Professional in English;
  • Demonstrates a track record of success and a strong commitment to promoting free market and democratic transformation;
  • Keeps up a position of leadership and authority in their society and profession


A letter of nomination must be submitted by each candidate to be considered for the McCain Fellowship for Freedom. A person you are well-known to in the business world and who can vouch for your eligibility for the fellowship should be the nominee. 

 Particulars to emphasize in the letter of nomination:

  • How the applicant has encouraged free market principles and democratic resilience in their community;
  • How the candidate has proven to be a capable leader with the potential to influence politics in their community; and
  • How the candidate will use the fellowship to further their growth as a political changemaker and how they are specially positioned to be an outstanding McCain Fellow. 

Note: The nomination letter must be written in English and should not exceed one page.

Application Procedure for International Republican Institute IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom

Interested and qualified applicants should access the application portal to apply. You can visit the official website for further details.

The Application Deadline is: November 27, 2023

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