Joseph Charles Wilson IV (born November 6, 1949) is the CEO of his own firm JC Wilson International Ventures, "a consulting firm specializing in strategic management and international-business development." In January 2007, Wilson joined Jarch Capital, LLC, as vice chairman, to advise the firm's expansion in areas of Africa considered "politically sensitive."
A United States Foreign Service diplomat before retiring in 1998, Wilson was posted to African nations and Iraq during the George H. W. Bush administration and later served as Special Assistant to U.S. President Bill Clinton and as Senior Director for African Affairs on the United States National Security Council. Wilson became known to the general public as a result of his op-ed "What I Didn't Find in Africa", published in the New York Times four months after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Wilson's op-ed documented his 2002 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) investigation into whether Iraq had purchased or attempted to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger. He concluded that the George W. Bush administration twisted intelligence to "exaggerate the Iraqi threat."
The week after the article's publication, Robert Novak disclosed that Wilson's wife Valerie Plame worked for the CIA in his syndicated Washington Post column. Ms. Plame was an undercover CIA officer. Subsequently, former Ambassador Wilson and others alleged that the disclosure was part of the Bush administration's attempts to discredit his report on his trip to Africa and the op-ed describing his findings because they did not support the government's rationale for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Wilson's allegations led to a federal investigation of the leak by the United States Department of Justice, to the appointment of a Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, to the CIA leak grand jury investigation, and to a major American political scandal variously dubbed by the press "Plamegate", the "Plame affair", the "CIA leak scandal", and other terms relating to the public disclosure or "leak" of Mrs. Wilson's then-classified covert CIA identity as "Valerie Plame".