Apply for IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom 2024

IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom
IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom

Apply for IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom 2024

IRI is now accepting applications to the third cohort of IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom . The IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom (MFF) brings together young leaders from around the world to continue the legacy of IRI’s 25-year Chairman Senator John McCain of fostering a new generation of democratic leaders on every continent.

The Fellowship brings together young leaders from around the world who are dedicated to fostering democracy and economic freedom. These leaders exchange ideas with policy makers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and other change makers to gain new insights and ideas on how to best promote democracy and citizen-centered governance. Since the program’s first iteration, IRI has hosted 16 global leaders from 15 different countries.


IRI’s McCain Fellowship encourages peer-to-peer learning, provides targeted training, and cultivates a generation of political changemakers who are building more inclusive, transparent, and resilient democracies powered by free markets. Through a virtual technical assistance program, Fellows will have access to a global network of technical experts covering a range of issues.

Each year, the Fellowship culminates in an Exchange where Fellows participate in discussions designed to cultivate their skills and networks to create positive change and support democratic resiliency.

McCain Fellows will be required to actively participate in a several-month program, including, but not limited to, the components outlined below:

  • Attend virtual sessions aimed at providing targeted assistance with skills related to policymaking, communication and advocacy.
  • Attend an in-person program in the United States to meet with and learn from leaders in the governmental, non-governmental and private sectors. The program will take place in Washington, D.C. and be timed based on the selected cohort’s availability.
  • Use the network gained and lessons learned from participating in the program to implement advocacy initiatives in the fellow’s community as a young, political changemaker.
  • Engage with other fellows, including from the previous iterations of the MFF program, through virtual networking sessions and platforms.

Eligibility Requirements

IRI will select up to eight young leaders who represent different regions, sectors and gender identities based on the following criteria:

  • 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.


All applicants are required to submit a letter of nomination for their participation in the McCain 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.

Deadline: 9:00 AM EST on November 20.

Apply here

For more details, visit IRI McCain Fellowship for Freedom

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