Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV
Ambassador Wilson served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from June 1997 until July 1998. In that capacity he was responsible for the coordination of U.S. policy to the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, He was one of the principal architecs of President Clinton's historic trip to Africa in March 1998.
Ambassador Wilson was the Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of United States Armed Forces, Europe, 1995-1997. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe from 1992 to 1995. From 1998 to 1991, Ambassador Wilson served in Baghdad, Iraq as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy. During ''Desert Shield'' he was the acting Ambassador and was responsible for the negotiations that resulted in the release of several hundred American hostages. He was the last official American to meet with Saddam Hussein before the launching of ''Desert Storm.''
Ambassador Wilson was a member of the U.S. Diplomatic Service from 1976 until 1998. His early assignments included Niamey, Niger, 1976-1978; Lome, Togo, 1978-79; the State Department Brueau of African Affairs, 1979-1981; and Pretoria, South Africa, 1981-1982.
In 1982, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Mission in Bujumbura, Burundi. In 1985-1986, he served in the offices of Senator Albert Gore and the House Majority Whip, Representative Thomas Foley, as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Brazzaville, Congo, 1986-88, prior to his assignment to Baghdad.
Ambassador Wilson was raised in California and graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1972. He is a graduate of the Senior Seminar (1972), the most advanced International Affairs training offered by the U.S. Government. He speaks fluent French.
Ambassador Wilson holds the Department of Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, the University of California, Santa Barbara Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the American Foreign Service Association William R. Rivkin Award. Additionally, he has been decorated as a Commander in the Order of the Equatorial Star by the Government of Gabon and as an Admiral in the El Paso Navy by the El Paso County Commissioners.
He is married to the former Valerie Plame and has two sons and two daughters.