September 13, 2019 Fifth annual Tbilisi International Conference draws wide range of policy makers and opinion shapers

Fifth annual Tbilisi International Conference draws wide range of policy makers and opinion shapers

McCain Institute and Georgia’s Economic Policy Research Center aim summit at next steps with “Now What?” theme

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Sep. 4, 2019–  The McCain Institute and the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) for the fifth year will jointly host their international conference in Tbilisi, Georgia on Sep. 9-10.  Always focused on solutions and actions, this year’s conference is themed “Now What?”, with Rooms Hotel the well established main venue.


“As 2019 unfolds and 2020 approaches there is simply so much in the balance,” said Ambassador Kurt Volker, executive director of the McCain Institute. “This conference convenes the key thought leaders and decision makers in a way that breaks through the swirl of issues and competing agendas in the style and ethos of Senator John McCain,” he added.


The Tbilisi International Conference builds on its reputation as a must attend event for leaders from Georgia, the United States and Europe. Each September the conference convenes top international leaders, security experts, Georgian policymakers, civil society activists, and the business community – with a view toward keeping Georgia high on the transatlantic agenda, and keeping the region front of mind for democratic progress and economic opportunity.


“The Tbilisi International Conference gathers allies and informs possibilities,” said Nino Evgenidze, executive director of the Economic Policy Research Center, and primary organizer and host of the conference. “Conversations held and relationships built at the conference translate into momentum and resolve, needed now more than ever,” she added.

The conference will include sessions on the future of Georgian democracyNATO/EUthe BalticsUkraineTurkeyRussiastate captureBrexit, and U.S. foreign policy.


Speakers include:

Laura Cooper, U.S. Dep Assist Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia

Daniel Fried, Distinguished Fellow with Altantic Council’s Europe Initiative

Ben Hodges, former Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe

Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania

Cindy McCain, Board Chair of the McCain Institute

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secretary General of NATO

Phil Reeker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs

John Tefft, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Lithuania

Valdis Zatlers, former President of Latvia

Giga Bokeria, Leader of European Georgia

Giorgi Gakharia, Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia* (PM nominee)

Salome Samadashvili, Member of the Parliament of Georgia

Archil Talakvadze, Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia

David Zalkaliani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

Salome Zourabishvili, President of Georgia


Other high ranking government officials, regional experts and thought leaders.

The conference is by invitation only. For press interested in covering the conference on-site, please contact Nino Evgenidze at [email protected]. The program will also be presented in part or whole via livestream at  Follow along at Twitter handle #TbilisiConf.


About the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University

Inspired by the leadership of Senator John McCain and his family’s legacy of public service, the McCain Institute implements programs and initiatives aimed at making a difference in people’s lives across a range of critical areas: combatting human trafficking, human rights, leadership development, national security and counterterrorism and rule of law.  Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute is proudly part of ASU, the largest public university in America – ranked #1 in innovation for four years running.


About the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC)

The Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC),founded in 2002 is a leading economic think tank in Georgia, striving to improve prosperity through rigorous economic policymaking, advancement of security and Euro-Atlantic Integration and by promoting public engagement through education. Learn more at