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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 29, 2010

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to speak at UI Nov. 10

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, the subject of the new movie "Fair Game," will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10 in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The University of Iowa Lecture Committee is presenting her appearance.
Doors open at 7 p.m., and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Plame Wilson and her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, became the center of a national controversy in 2003 when senior White House and State Department officials leaked her identity as a CIA agent to the media.

She wrote her story in the best-selling 2007 autobiography "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House." The book was made into a major motion picture, "Fair Game" (, to be released on Friday, Nov. 5 and starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts.

The Iowa premiere of "Fair Game" will be 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in the UI's Bijou Theater (

At the lecture, Plame Wilson will discusses "Fair Game," sharing her thoughts on what she views as unprecedented abuse of public trust by the administration of former President George W. Bush in its efforts to silence a critic and subvert the right of citizens to exercise free speech.

She worked for the CIA as an undercover operative on several overseas assignments in areas related to counterterrorism and counter proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In July 2003, Joseph Wilson spoke out against the Bush Administration’s claim that Iraq had sought nuclear material in Africa, which had been a primary justification for going to war with Iraq. Shortly after, information about Plame Wilson and her classified CIA status was leaked to reporters, which essentially ended her CIA career. An ensuing investigation and trial led to the conviction in 2007 of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, for perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal investigators.

Since her covert identity was compromised, Plame Wilson has become a public advocate and respected authority on issues of national security, counter-proliferation, and politics. A contributor to The Daily Beast, she appears in and narrates the critically acclaimed documentary "Countdown to Zero," about the preventable threat of nuclear disaster. "Countdown to Zero" will broadcast on The History Channel this fall.

She is currently at work on her second book, a fictional novel about a female covert operative who relies more upon her intellect than high-tech weaponry to gather intelligence. She is also a consultant to the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), a nonprofit research institute for multidisciplinary collaborations in the physical, biological, computational, and social sciences. SFI research has been used to design new HIV therapies, influence sustainable agricultural policies in Indonesia, and influence business policy in the age of information.

Plame Wilson and Joseph Wilson are parents of 10-year-old twins. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, and master's degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

Joseph Wilson spoke at the UI on March 26, 2007, giving a presentation titled "The Politics Of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity." Plame Wilson was scheduled to speak at that time, but legal issues involving the CIA leak caused her to cancel.

For more information on the lecture see

For more than 30 years, UI Lecture Committee has brought some of the world's great thinkers to the University of Iowa campus. Speakers have included an impressive roster of national and international figures in science, politics, business, human rights, law, and the arts. These events help enrich Iowa's academic environment and enhance its reputation as a prestigious Big Ten university.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Zakir Durumeric, University Lecture Committee, 319-384-3535,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,