Cindy Hensley McCain has dedicated her life to improving the lives of those less fortunate both in the United States and around the world. Cindy 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, 16 year old Bridget McCain.
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, Angola, Georgia and Kosovo.
Cindy served 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 over 100,000 children and young adults in 25 countries. Cindy has assisted on volunteer missions to Morocco, India, and Vietnam.
Mrs. McCain has also traveled extensively on behalf of World Food Programme, visiting mother and child feeding programs in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cindy recently joined the Board of Directors for the Eastern Congo Initiative. She’s travelled to the region four times in the last two years and is committed to raising awareness on the travesties facing women and children in the Congo.
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. Mrs. McCain is a member of the USC Rossier School of Education Board of Councilors, a group of civic and education leaders who provide guidance, support and advocacy for the school’s work.
Cindy resides in Phoenix with her husband, U.S. Senator John McCain. Together, they have four children: Meghan, Jack, Jimmy, and Bridget.