JOHN H. ADAMS
NRDC Founding Director
JOHN ADAMS co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970, serving as NRDC's executive director and later president from its inception until 2006 -- a tenure unparalleled by the leader of any other environmental organization. As NRDC's founding director, Adams continues to play an active role in the organization on the local, national and international levels. In February 2011, Adams received the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- our nation's highest civilian honor -- from President Obama, who referenced Rolling Stone Magazine's description of Adams when announcing the award: "If the planet has a lawyer, it's John Adams."
In 2010, Adams and his wife Patricia co-authored A Force for Nature, a memoir recounting their forty years of battles and victories with NRDC. He is currently chair of the board of the Open Space Institute and sits on the boards of numerous other environmental organizations. He has also served on governmental advisory committees, including President Clinton's Council for Sustainable Development. Prior to his work at NRDC, Adams served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Duke University School of Law. Adams lives in Catskills mountains of New York, not far from the farm where he was raised.