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IRI Announces Arrival of International Delegation to Observe Ukraine Election

April 19, 2019

Kyiv, Ukraine—The International Republican Institute (IRI) announces the arrival of the international election observation delegation to observe the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election on April 21, 2019. 

Congressman John Shimkus and IRI board member and former Assistant Secretary of State David J. Kramer will co-lead the delegation.

“The people of Ukraine have fought for their freedom in the face of incredible challenges,” said Kramer. “This election represents a step forward in Ukraine’s continued democratization and we hope to see a process that will lay the foundation for a more stable and prosperous country.”

The 28 short-term observers include former ambassadors, thought leaders, and senior IRI leadership. The delegation will be deployed throughout the country on Election Day and will join IRI’s twelve long-term observers, who have been deployed since early March.

“The fact that the election has been so competitive and the outcome remains uncertain underlines how far Ukraine’s democracy has advanced since its independence,” said Congressman Shimkus. “I am honored to be here to monitor the elections and witness Ukraine’s democratic journey.”

The following is the full list of delegates participating in IRI’s election observation mission:

  • Christian Holm Barenfeld, Board Member, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation;
  • Brian J. Berry, Chief Creative Officer, The Strategy Group Company;
  • Matthew Bryza, former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council;
  • David Mazzuca, Assistant Director, Sandy Recovery Division, State of New Jersey;
  • Jonathan Olsson, Senior Project Manager, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation;
  • Christina Ruffini, U.S. Department of State Reporter, CBS News;
  • Randy Scheunemann, Vice Chairman, International Republican Institute Board of Directors and Strategic Counselor, Halifax International Security Forum;
  • Hannah Thoburn, Professional Staff Member, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and
  • Gaddi Vasquez, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.

Since its founding in 1983, IRI has monitored more than 220 elections in more than 59 countries, including Ukraine’s 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2012 and 2014 parliamentary elections and the 1999, 2004, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2019 presidential elections.

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IRI in Ukraine

IRI opened its first Ukrainian office in 1994. Today, our Ukraine program is the largest in the Eurasia division and one of the largest initiatives at IRI, conducting programs throughout the country to strengthen multiparty democracy, support local government reforms and the decentralization process, close the gap between politicians and constituents and empower the next generation of Ukrainian leaders.  

About the International Republican Institute

IRI is at the forefront of providing global democracy assistance. Our nonpartisan, nongovernmental Institute links people with their government, guides politicians to be responsive to citizens and motivates people to engage in the political process. IRI has performed high-impact work in more than 100 countries since 1983 and currently has offices in 40 countries worldwide. Visit IRI.org to learn more.