Cindy Hensley McCain has dedicated her life to improving the lives of those less fortunate both in the United States and around the world. A native Arizonan, mother of four, and wife of U.S. Senator John McCain, Cindy McCain is known for lending her time and talent to increase awareness of international charity organizations and the work that they do to make the world a better place.
As an advocate for children's health care needs, Cindy founded and ran the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) from 1988 to 1995. AVMT provided emergency medical and surgical care to impoverished children throughout the world. Cindy led 55 medical missions to third world and war-torn countries during AVMT's seven years of existence. On one of those missions, Mother Teresa convinced Cindy to take two babies in need of medical attention to the United States. One of those babies is now their adopted daughter, Bridget McCain.
In recent years, three organizations in particular have been the subject of her international focus: HALO, Operation Smile, and CARE. As a member of the Board of Trustees for the HALO Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to landmine removal and weapons destruction in war-torn countries, Cindy has traveled to numerous countries to see firsthand the impact HALO has had by removing landmines. She recently returned from her second visit to Cambodia. She has also traveled to Sri Lanka, Mozambique, and Angola. Cindy also serves on the Board of Directors for Operation Smile, a non-profit organization whose mission is to repair cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities for children around the world. Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided free reconstructive surgery to more than 100,000 children and young adults in 25 countries. Cindy has assisted on volunteer missions to Morocco, India, and Vietnam. She is scheduled to return to Vietnam on another mission during the summer of 2008.
Cindy is currently on a leave of absence from the Board of Directors of CARE, USA, which works to fight global poverty, particularly among women. She traveled to Tanzania in February 2007 with CARE.
While she typically leaves politics to her husband, Cindy was an instrumental part in her husband's run for the presidency in 2000. That year, she was chosen to represent the state of Arizona at the Republican National Convention as the Chairwoman of the Arizona Delegation. During the campaign, she traveled extensively, speaking to groups across America about Senator McCain and her passion for volunteering to help the less fortunate.
In addition to her humanitarian work, Cindy is the chairman of her family's business, Hensley & Company, which is one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the nation.
Her formal education includes an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master's in Special Education from the University of Southern California. As a student, Cindy participated in pilot programs testing Movement Therapy, which is now a widely accepted standard for working with severely disabled children. After receiving her degrees from USC, she began her teaching career at Agua Fria High School in Arizona where she continued her work with disabled children.
Cindy resides in Phoenix with her husband, U.S. Senator John McCain. Together, they have four children: Meghan, Jack, Jimmy, and Bridget.