Education A National Roundup

Obituary: Top U.S. Education Adviser in Iraq Slain

By Mary Ann Zehr — December 07, 2004 1 min read

James Mollen, the U.S. Embassy’s senior consultant to the ministers of education and higher education in Iraq, was shot and killed in Baghdad on Nov. 24.

Mr. Mollen, 48, was shot while driving back to the heavily fortified Green Zone after having visited the Ministry of Education to bid good-bye to friends there, according to a U.S. Department of State official in Baghdad. Mr. Mollen had been scheduled to depart the country for good on Nov. 28.

He had worked in Iraq initially in the spring of 2003 for six weeks, following the U.S.-led invasion, and then returned in September of that year to help the Coalition Provisional Authority with the Ministry of Higher Education, according to the State Department official. Mr. Mollen eventually became the senior adviser on education to both the precollegiate and higher education ministries.

Before Mr. Mollen joined the State Department in 2002, he worked as a computer-systems analyst for the Coca-Cola Co. in Atlanta, according to news reports. He was a founding board member in 1995 of Orphanage Outreach, a nonprofit organization in Glendale, Ariz., that provides opportunites for orphaned and abandoned children, primarily in the Dominican Republic.