Anne Smedinghoff died Saturday doing what she loved: being a diplomat and trying to make a difference in people's lives.
Secretary of State John Kerry praised Smedinghoff's dedication to public service. He said her death was a grim reminder of the risks and importance for pushing for change in "one of the toughest places on earth."
Smedinghoff had met Kerry during his visit to Afghanistan two weeks ago. Her aunt Cathy Tokarski remembers her niece taking an interest in global affairs from an early age when she would read The New York Times international section.
She says Smedinghoff volunteered to go to Afghanistan because it's where she felt she could have an impact and saw a potential to do some good. Smedinghoff served as a press attache and also took interest in gender interest and organizing youth soccer groups.
"Anne was not naive to the risks and I hope she will serve as an inspiration to others," says Tokarski.