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international leadership

ASU Becomes Home To McCain Institute For International Leadership

Arizona State University announced that it has established the McCain Institute for International Leadership.

The new Institute is initially supported by a $9 million gift from the McCain Institute Foundation, a charitable trust funded by Arizona Senator John McCain. Arizona State University will build the nonpartisan and nonprofit education and research center, based in Washington, D.C., and with a physical presence in Tempe. Full establishment of the McCain Institute is planned for early 2013.

Already deep in the planning stages, the McCain Institute for International Leadership will focus on promoting character-driven leadership, as well as research and decision-making in the areas of humanitarian work, human rights and national security. It also will seek to promote rigorous debate, in the best American tradition of open inquiry, spirited discussion and practical action.

The myriad challenges and opportunities facing America and the world – including humanitarian crises and economic competition; democratic uprisings in the Middle East and cartel-driven violence and drug-trade along the U.S.-Mexico border; a rising China and global competition for resources – all demonstrate the continuing need for character-driven leadership, and rigorous analysis and decision-making. Through its policy research, events, fellows programs and other activities, the Institute aims to inform, convene and assist policymakers, and to train future leaders from the United States and abroad.

“The charge of the McCain Institute for International Leadership fits in perfectly with Arizona State University’s core mission of having a significant positive impact on the larger community, and we are grateful to Senator McCain for his support of this important university endeavor,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “It will be guided by the values that have animated the career of Senator McCain – a commitment to sustaining America’s global leadership role, promoting freedom, democracy and human rights, as well as maintaining a strong, smart national defense.”

As a university that has pioneered a new model for an American research university, Arizona State brings substantial capacities to the table unmatched by traditional Washington think tanks. The university’s renowned faculty, its numerous schools and centers, and its unique “Decision Theater” capability offer a scholarly resource base that can help develop recommendations for improved decision-making.

The McCain Institute’s Washington location also offers new opportunities for ASU, including possibilities for student internships, research fellowships, and eventually a “Washington Semester” for ASU students.  The Institute will contribute to Arizona State University’s critical thinking and research missions by expanding its profile and access to policy-making in Washington, D.C.

Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker has been named Executive Director of the Institute. Until recently, Volker served as a senior follow and managing director of the Center on Transatlantic Relations at John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He also serves as a senior advisor at the Atlantic Council of the United States and is a member of its Strategic Advisory Group.

“The McCain Institute has a real opportunity to fill some gaps in Washington – first, by building future international leadership through a Fellows program, and second, by engaging directly with senior decision-makers in developing, analyzing, testing, and promoting the implementation of innovative policies,” said Volker.

Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said he is “pleased that Senator McCain and Arizona State University are joining forces to create the McCain Institute…”  “When I first came to the Senate in 2009, John befriended me, just as my father had befriended him years ago. We have worked together in the same nonpartisan approach that the McCain Institute will bring to international affairs – one based on shared values and common interests, not ideology.”

“Washington is not a town short of ideas, it is a town short of leadership,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “Policy proposals without leadership and values behind them, or people who are courageous enough to fight for them, will not stand up to the international challenges we face. I believe that the McCain Institute will be a center of gravity, a meeting place where we can robustly debate the great issues of our time and come away with a sense of purpose and a passion for character-driven leadership.”

At this stage, the Institute is focusing on three early tasks: (a) creating institutional capacity, including physical space, personnel, partnerships, and linkages to ASU’s existing faculty and resources; (b) launching initial work to design the Fellows program and to engage with policymakers and partners to strengthen policies against trafficking in persons; and (c) reaching out to develop a long-term network of supporters and contributors.

The Institute’s “Cornerstone Meeting,” held April 27-29, 2012, in Sedona, Ariz., brought together leading policymakers such as CIA Director David Petraeus and Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) to discuss the central issues facing our world.  The Cornerstone Meeting helped to sharpen the McCain Institute’s vision as a unique institution in Washington and to build lasting commitment from a wide community of supporters.

As explained in the Institute’s mission statement, four central objectives guide the institute’s work:

  • Provide decision recommendations for leaders through open debate and rigorous analysis, by convening experts, publishing policy-relevant research, and holding decision-making training events using cutting-edge technology. This includes convening policymakers, academics, journalists and other experts to discuss and debate important national security issues, as well as hosting exercises, war games and “red team” exercises centered on key national security issues that will likely emerge on the mid-term horizon. ASU’s innovative Decision Theater will be one of the venues utilized.
  • Identify and train new national security leaders, both American and foreign, in public service and private enterprise, as well as military spheres. This includes establishing an internship program for undergraduate and graduate students, a McCain Leadership Fellows Program, and a class of Next Generation McCain Fellows composed of rising national security professionals.
  • Play a unique role in a crowded intellectual space by serving as Washington’s preeminent “decision tank.” This includes sponsoring the Sedona Forum, an international gathering of top government officials, private sector leaders and issues experts in Sedona, Arizona, focused on the nation’s and the world’s most pressing issues, as well as the McCain Debates, a speaking series in Washington that provides an arena for experts and policy makers to debate key issues.
  • Promote and preserve the McCain family spirit of character-driven leadership and national service, including hosting the McCain family archives. This includes partnering with foreign and domestic organizations to convene discussion on issues of regional and global importance, as well as hosting an electronic document repository to serve as a center of research and information for historians, academics, students and others.

For more information on the McCain Institute for International Leadership, visit ASU’s website at asu.edu.

valley forward receives grant

Valley Forward Receives $80K Grant

A coalition to foster a statewide sustainability agenda for Arizona has been propelled by a major grant, two new high-level prominent Charter members, its first public sector recruit and two more utilities joining the diverse business-based group.

Valley Forward Association recently received an $80,000 grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust with the opportunity to renew funding for an additional two years to grow its Arizona Forward initiative, launched last year to promote a healthy environment while encouraging economic vitality. As part of its annual grant program, the Trust awarded more than $1.8 million to 22 Arizona nonprofit organizations.

The University of Arizona and Cox Communications are the newest Charter members, joining nine other high-level entities represented on the Arizona Forward Advisory Board. Other new recruits include Pima County, Unisource Energy Corporation and Southwest Gas Corp., bringing the total roster to 41.

“This generous financial support from the Trust will allow us to continue our education, outreach and advocacy aimed at enhancing the livability and sustainability of communities throughout Arizona,” said Diane Brossart, acting director for Arizona Forward. “Our ultimate goal is to encourage more coordinated regional efforts through an exchange of ideas and information statewide that bolster our overall economic growth and environmental quality.”

Arizona Forward is leveraging the resources of the 43-year-old Valley Forward to bring business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue on statewide sustainability issues. The group’s basic agenda focuses on land use and open space planning, protecting public lands, parks and monuments, as well as transportation, air quality, water and energy.

“We have experienced impressive growth of public and private sector members in a relatively short time, coupled with an initial grant from a private foundation in 2011 and the one we just received from the Trust,” said Kurt Wadlington, Tucson building group leader for Sundt Construction and chairman of Arizona Forward. “It demonstrates the need for what we are providing and encourages corporate stewardship.

ABOUT NINA MASON PULLIAM CHARITABLE TRUST ORGANIZATION

Since the Trust began its grant making in 1998, it has awarded more than $99.2 million to 422 Arizona nonprofit organizations. The Trust also makes grants in Indiana and as of March 31, 2012, had assets of approximately $350 million. Visit ninapulliamtrust.org for more information about the Trust and its programs.

ABOUT ARIZONA FORWARD

Arizona Forward is an initiative that brings business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue and advocacy on statewide sustainability issues. Charter Members include: Arizona Community Foundation, Cox Communications, First Solar, Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, National Bank of Arizona, Solon Corporation, Sundt Construction, The Nature Conservancy, Total Transit, University of Arizona and Wells Fargo.

For more information on Valley Forward and the Arizona Forward initiative, visit arizonaforward.org or call (602) 240-2408.

charitable trust

Virginia G. Piper Charitable TrustAwards $3.6 Million In Grants

The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust announced grants totaling more than $3.6 million—funds that will help strengthen Maricopa County communities in the areas of arts and culture, services for disadvantaged children, youth mentoring, healthcare initiatives, and older adults.

“Expanding the Encore Fellows program will allow us to place additional experienced adult professionals within organizations that may not typically be able to afford this level of talent.”

The Trust’s January through March 2012 investments cover a range of programs such as: developing effective new tools for parents of blind children so they may better coordinate multiple, complex services needed to support and educate their children; enhancing the sites of two significant cultural venues—Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden; and expanding the “Encore Fellows” program—a program facilitated by Experience Matters, a nonprofit that capitalizes on the time and talent of older adults (age 50+) seeking paid or unpaid positions that apply their skills to social purposes.

“Baby boomers are hitting retirement ages at a rapid pace, and there is great momentum to capture their interests and talents. Boomers often see retirement as an opportunity to participate and work in new ways that impact social causes they care about,” said Nora Hannah, CEO, Experience Matters. “Expanding the Encore Fellows program will allow us to place additional experienced adult professionals within organizations that may not typically be able to afford this level of talent.”

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will be recognized by the National Council on Aging in Washington, D.C. for its work over the last decade in establishing effective public and private partnerships that support the development and care of Maricopa County’s older adults. On Friday, March 30, Piper Trust will receive the Arthur Flemming Award for its leadership in developing initiatives that promote healthy, independent and productive living for older adults. There are 1.1 million people in Maricopa County who are age 50 or older.

“Piper Trust continues to have great foresight in developing civic opportunities for older adults who want to apply their experience to social causes. We commend Piper Trust’s leadership in making the value of older adults a priority. The Trust’s work in aging is a role model for funders throughout the country who want to make a difference for older adults in their communities,” said Jim Firman, president and CEO, National Council on Aging.

Desert Botanical Garden: Expand site to accommodate growing clientele and new cultural offerings, $500,000.

Phoenix Zoo: Construct new visitor entrance, $1,250,000.

Foundation for Blind Children: Develop tools for parents of blind children to navigate complex delivery systems, $120,000.

Gabriel’s Angels: Expand intervention training to partner agency therapists and therapy teams, $215,000.

Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods: Expand services for Chandler area youth, $560,000.

Science Foundation Arizona: Provide a challenge grant to secure new donors, $250,000.

The Neighborhood Christian Clinic: Add three half-day health clinics, $150,000.

Valle del Sol, Inc.: Renovate office space to create a pediatric clinic and purchase medical equipment, $126,625.

Arizona Town Hall: Support the 100th Arizona Town Hall on civic engagement, $5,000.

Experience Matters Consortium: Support four additional Encore Fellowship positions, $80,000.

Solecito Services, Inc.: Expand service and restore or purchase medical equipment, $44,500.

Valley of the Sun United Way: Support of the Homelessness and Hunger Funders Collaborative project (continuation of Community Relief Grant), $300,000.