Author Debriefing: ‘Burned’ with Valerie Plame
Former covert CIA operational officer Valerie Plame is currently on a book tour promoting her recent fiction book, Burned. Her most recent stop was at The International Spy Museum in downtown Washington on Thursday, October 23rd.
While working with the CIA, Valerie Plame’s assignments were focused on counterproliferation, meaning eliminating the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Plame was deep undercover overseas in 2003 when her cover was blown by Bush administration senior officials.
On Thursday, Plame discussed her role as a female covert operations officer, life after the CIA, being a mother, and of course, her books.
Plame said women were typically seen in “safe roles” in the CIA. She was even called a “glorified secretary” by a member of Congress. She described herself as “lucky.”
As a mother and wife, Plame said it has been difficult explaining her past career to her children. In 2006, she and her family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they currently reside.
Currently, Plame is an author of her memoir, Fair Game, and a fiction series starring Vanessa Piersen, a CIA operational officer that Plame describes as a “younger, smarter version of myself.” The first book of the series is entitled Blowback, followed by the recently released Burned.
When asked what she missed most about being in the CIA, Plame responded with how great it is to focus on being a mother and author. She said it is exciting to be able to go to a dentist appointment and not have to tell anyone. She enjoys sitting on the sideline of the volleyball or soccer field.
Plame is still actively working in public service, as an active member of Global Zero, an international organization focused on eliminating nuclear weapons. She recommended watching the film, Countdown to Zero, a 2010 documentary film about the dangers of nuclear power.