On Jan. 17, an NDI convoy was attacked in Baghdad, leaving four dead including staff person Andrea “Andi” Parhamovich of Perry, Ohio, and three dedicated security personnel from Unity Resources Group (URG). The names of the security personnel, including additional wounded, have been withheld at the request of URG management.
The Institute expresses its deepest condolences to its Iraq staff and the families who are facing this tragedy.
"There is no more sacred roll of honor than those who have given their last full measure in support of freedom," said NDI Chairman Madeleine K. Albright. "Yesterday, in Iraq, Andrea Parhamovich and our security personnel were enshrined on that list. They did not see themselves as heroes, only people doing a job on behalf of a cause they believed in. They were not the enemies of anyone in Iraq; they were there to help. Now, the prayers of all of us at NDI are with them and with their families. We pledge to do everything that is within our power to see that they did not die in vain. We will honor their example, keep alive their memory, and carry on their work."
A graduate of Marietta College, Andi, 28, developed her career in political communication with the Massachusetts Governor's office and Department of Economic Development, Air America Radio and, most recently, the International Republican Institute in Iraq before joining NDI's Baghdad staff in late 2006. An outgoing woman who made friends quickly, Andi wanted to use her education and skills as a communications specialist to help Iraqi political party leaders and parliamentarians develop strategies to reach out to voters and constituents. Andi's work helped to build the kind of national level political institutions that can help bridge the sectarian divide and improve Iraqi lives. An energetic activist who inspired her colleagues with creative ideas, Andi forged impressive relationships with Iraqi political leaders, many of whom have expressed their deep sadness at her murder.
"The National Democratic Institute and its Iraqi partners have been fortunate to benefit from the dedication and commitment of Andi Parhamovich who believed passionately in helping to improve the lives of Iraqi citizens," said Institute President Kenneth Wollack. "This is a tragic loss for the Institute and its Iraqi friends."
Wollack said the security personnel from URG were "close members of the NDI family for the years of protection they have afforded our Institute staff."
The National Democratic Institute's engagement in Iraq started in June 2003. The Institute's nonpartisan programs focus on civic participation, political party strengthening, assistance with the formation of a democratic legislature and executive branch of government, supporting women's political participation and helping to ensure open and fair electoral processes.
Published on Jan. 27, 2007