U.S. Diplomat Killed in Afghanistan Wanted to Help
By The Associated Press, with addtional reporting from Illinois Public Media
A 25-year-old U.S. diplomat from River Forest, Illinois killed in southern Afghanistan is being remembered as an up-and-coming public servant who loved working directly with Afghan residents.
Anne Smedinghoff died Saturday when the group she was traveling with was struck by an explosion. They were en route to traveling to donate textbooks to students.
The Chicago-area woman is the first American diplomat to die on the job since last year's attack on the U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya.
While a student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, she worked part time for Sam Hopkins, an attorney near campus. He describes her as ambitious "but in a wonderfully quiet modest way.''
She had an early interest in foreign affairs and was an organizer of the university's Foreign Affairs Symposium in 2008.
Gov. Pat Quinn issued a statement Sunday.
“Illinois is proud to call Anne Smedinghoff one of our own," Quinn said. “Only 25 years old, this brave young woman knew social justice was her calling, and selflessly lost her life while serving others in a war-torn country. She was devoted to protecting America and improving the lives of others. We thank God for Anne's purposeful life. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.”