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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 7, 1997


National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger announced today the appointment of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. He will succeed Susan Rice.

Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Wilson served as the Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of United States Armed Forces, Europe, from 1995 to 1997. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Gabon and to Sao Tome and Principe from 1992 to 1995. From 1988 to 1991, Ambassador Wilson served in Baghdad, Iraq as Deputy Chief of Mission. Prior to the launching of Operation Desert Storm, he was responsible for negotiating the release of several hundred American hostages held by the Iraqi government.

Ambassador Wilson, a career member of the Foreign Service, previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bujumbura, Burundi and Brazzaville, Congo. His other assignments include tours in Niger, Togo and South Africa. As an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, he worked in the offices of then-Senator Albert Gore and then-House Majority Whip, Representative Thomas Foley.

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and raised in California, Ambassador Wilson received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has a daughter and a son.

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