Secretary of State Colin Powell (search) announced on Wednesday that a State Department education specialist was killed in Iraq.

James Mollen, who had spent about a year in Iraq (search), was killed outside the "green zone," the special high security area to which Iraqi officials and U.S. diplomats normally are confined, U.S. officials said.

Powell said in a statement that Mollen was a consultant to Iraq's minister of education and the minister of higher education.

"Jim dedicated his life to a noble cause: improving the quality of education for thousands of Iraqis," Powell said.

In October, a State Department security officer, Ed Seitz, was killed during an attack at a U.S. base near Baghdad International Airport (search).