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McCain Institute offers students training in foreign policy

March 11, 2013

This fall ASU students will have a new opportunity for gaining Washington and global leadership experience in the McCain Institute’s Policy Design Studio. The institute will combine a unique new course offering focused on the making and implementation of U.S. foreign policy along with a D.C. internship.

Led by the senior director of the McCain Institute, a former U.S. Ambassador, students will constitute a U.S. Embassy Country Team to a specific nation and manage a reality-based diplomatic agenda. Students will be assigned the actual roles of embassy team members, and together with their “Ambassador,” practice how U.S. foreign policy is developed and executed in the field.    

The institute will also continue to offer its video-linked course with ASU students in Tempe. Students will engage in a highly creative and intense exercise of setting the factual baseline for effective international decision-making.   Students and faculty will prepare the new Washington-based Decision Theater for foreign policy applications.  Through research, design and class discussion, participants will create a highly reliable global data set relevant to international policymaking and Decision Theater visualization. The course will be led from Washington via video link as well as in direct interaction with senior staff of the McCain Institute.

The McCain Institute’s Policy Design Studio is its teaching arm for practical training of ASU students in foreign policy decision-making and implementation. As a unique, practitioner-led, “decision tank” the institute conducts comprehensive decision-making exercises using cutting-edge technology, including ASU’s innovative Decision Theater.

Among the institute’s programs is the core Next Generation Leaders (NGL) Program that literally recruits and develops the next generation of world leaders across multiple professional disciplines. McCain NGL Fellows are future presidents and prime ministers, civil society and business leaders, military commanders or media decision-makers. In the Policy Design Studio, students become part of this ambitious leadership environment, learning by doing and preparing for their careers after they graduate.

For more information, contact Richard Herrera at For additional program details, contact Brian Gallian, program coordinator at the McCain Institute, directly at