As a covert CIA Operations Officer, Valerie Plame worked to protect America’s national security and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Without warning, in 2003 she found herself at the heart of a political firestorm when senior White House and State Department officials revealed her secret status to several national journalists — including a syndicated conservative newspaper columnist who published her name.
A subsequent investigation exposed what some dub an act of treason: that Plame’s “outing” was coordinated with the involvement of President Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff (Karl Rove), Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff (I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby) and the Deputy Secretary of State (Richard Armitage). Libby was indicted on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to federal investigators and in March 2007 was found guilty on four of the five counts against him.
Much had been written about the “Valerie Plame Story” before Plame, who remained silent throughout the controversy, wrote her New York Times best-selling autobiography Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House. In 2010, Fair Game was made into a major motion picture starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. Plame released her second book, fictional thriller Blowback, in October 2013 to wide renown.
At the Podium
Alternatively, Plame discusses Fair Game and also speaks alongside her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson (GTN Exclusive); together they lay out the CIA leak controversy in an incisive and enlightening presentation. Also an outspoken activist on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of postpartum depression, Plame shares her own harrowing experience with severe PPD. She inspires audiences to overcome obstacles, support one another and identify solutions for the nearly 20% of new mothers affected by PPD.
Since her covert identity was compromised, Plame has become a public advocate and respected authority on issues of national security, nuclear proliferation, and politics. A leader of the Global Zero initiative, Plame appears in and narrates the critically-acclaimed documentary “Countdown to Zero”, about the preventable threat of nuclear disaster.
Plame released her second book, Blowback, in October 2013; the fictional spy thriller follows Vanessa Pierson, a female covert operative who relies more upon her intellect than high-tech weaponry to gather intelligence. Patrick Anderson of The Washington Post called Blowback “a fine, fast-moving spy saga.” A sequel to Blowback is also in the works. Plame is also a consultant to the Santa Fe Institute, world-renowned nonprofit scientific research institute for multidisciplinary collaborations in the physical, biological, computational, and social sciences.
Plame and her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, are the parents of teenage twins. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, and Masters degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.