Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Christine Todd Whitman, the former Governor of New Jersey and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), arrived in Phnom Penh today to officially open IRI’s observation of Cambodia’s July 27 parliamentary elections.

Gov. Whitman heads a delegation of more than 60 credentialed observers, including IRI President and Chief Executive Officer George A. Folsom, Ph.D.  The delegates have deployed to 16 Cambodian provinces to monitor voting preparations, proceedings and tabulation.  The delegation includes political experts, academics and officials from the United States, Indonesia, China, Australia and Canada.

“I am dedicated to leading a scrupulous and fair observation of this critical election for the people of Cambodia,” said Governor Whitman.

On Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26, Whitman will meet with Cambodian government officials, political party leaders, and nongovernmental organizations.  Cambodia’s July 27 parliamentary elections will be its third since 1993.

About Governor Whitman
Christine Todd Whitman took office as Administrator of the EPA in January 2001.  Her tenure saw the introduction of President George W. Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative; the establishment of a watershed based approach to protecting lakes, streams and rivers; and the passage of landmark brownfields legislation to clean up land marred by abandoned industrial sites.  As Administrator, she led trips to the region to work on environmental problems.  Governor Whitman resigned from the EPA effective June 27, 2003.

Prior to the EPA, Whitman served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey, the first woman to hold that position.  As governor Whitman cut taxes, promoted business, streamlined government, promoted tough anti-crime legislation and left New Jersey with cleaner air, water and land after her seven years in the state house.

Before becoming governor, Whitman headed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the Somerset County Board of Freeholders.  She grew up in Hunterdon County, NJ and earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Wheaton College in Massachusetts in 1968.

About IRI’s Delegation
In addition to Gov. Whitman and 25 IRI staff members with experience in dozens of countries, the election observation delegation includes:

IRI has worked to promote democracy in Cambodia since 1993, when IRI’s chairman, U.S. Senator John McCain, led the IRI observation of the country’s first multi-party elections.  IRI has worked with all major political parties and with civil society to build democratic processes in Cambodia.  IRI has observed more than 100 elections throughout the world and has been monitoring Cambodia’s pre-election environment since January.

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