The American killed in this week's Taliban attack in Kabul has been identified as development expert Paula Kantor, from North Carolina.

Kantor was staying at the Park Palace Hotel when it was stormed by Taliban gunmen late Wednesday, sparking a siege that left 14 people, including nine foreigners, dead.

A scientist, gender and development specialist, Kantor was in Kabul to work on a project involving wheat production with the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit.

AREU's director Nader Nadery said on the organization's website Friday that Kantor "gave her life ... to make sure millions of people, especially women, get a chance at a better life."

Kantor also worked at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, which described her as a "pillar of our gender work."