Katherine Adams is an accomplished American attorney and business executive who currently holds the position of general counsel and senior vice president of Legal and Global Security at Apple Inc. In her role, she reports directly to CEO Tim Cook and serves as a vital member of Apple's executive team. With her extensive legal expertise, Adams is entrusted with the oversight of all legal matters within the company, including corporate governance, intellectual property, litigation and securities compliance, global security, and privacy.
Before joining Apple in 2017, Katherine Adams enjoyed a successful 14-year tenure at Honeywell, a multinational conglomerate. At Honeywell, she held the prestigious position of senior vice president and general counsel, where she played a pivotal role in shaping and executing the organization's legal strategy across more than 100 countries. Her contributions to Honeywell's legal department were instrumental in ensuring compliance, safeguarding intellectual property, and mitigating risks on a global scale.
Prior to her time at Honeywell, Katherine Adams demonstrated her legal prowess as a partner at Sidley Austin LLP in New York. This experience honed her skills and provided her with a solid foundation in various legal domains. Earlier in her career, Adams had the privilege of serving as a law clerk for esteemed figures in the legal field. She worked as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, where she gained invaluable insights into the highest levels of the judicial system. Additionally, she served as a law clerk for Stephen Breyer, who was then the chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. These formative experiences further shaped Adams' understanding of the law and its practical applications.
Katherine Adams is a highly educated professional, having earned a bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from Brown University. She went on to pursue her passion for law at the University of Chicago Law School, where she earned her Juris Doctor degree. Her educational background, coupled with her vast legal experience, has equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of the legal landscape.
Katherine Adams, born on April 20, 1964, in New York City, is an accomplished attorney and business executive. She pursued her education at Brown University, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in comparative literature with concentrations in French and German in 1986. Adams furthered her academic journey at the University of Chicago Law School, receiving her Juris Doctor degree in 1990 and earning the prestigious Order of the Coif distinction.
Katherine Adams embarked on a remarkable legal career, starting as a law clerk for Stephen Breyer, the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She then served as a trial attorney in the Appellate Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the United States Department of Justice. Adams had the privilege of working as a law clerk for the esteemed Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, further solidifying her understanding of the legal system.
Adams joined the Chicago-based law firm Sidley Austin, where she spent ten years, initially as an associate and later as a Partner, based in the firm's New York City office. During her tenure at Sidley Austin, she honed her legal skills and gained valuable experience in various areas of law. Additionally, Adams contributed to the legal field as an educator, teaching law at New York University Law School and environmental law at Columbia University Law School.
In 2003, Katherine Adams transitioned to Honeywell, a multinational conglomerate, where she worked for fourteen years and ascended to the role of senior vice president and general counsel. In this capacity, she led the organization's global legal strategy, overseeing a workforce of 128,000 employees spread across more than 100 countries. Adams expertly managed the full spectrum of legal affairs for the company.
Recognizing her exceptional legal acumen and leadership abilities, Apple Inc. welcomed Katherine Adams to its executive team on October 6, 2017. She assumed the role of general counsel and senior vice president of Legal and Global Security, succeeding the retiring Bruce Sewell. In this prominent position, Adams is responsible for overseeing all legal matters at Apple, including corporate governance, intellectual property, litigation and securities compliance, global security, and privacy.
Beyond her professional commitments, Katherine Adams serves as a Board Trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), showcasing her dedication to environmental causes. Throughout her career, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise in navigating complex legal landscapes and making a significant impact on the organizations she has served. Katherine Adams' outstanding contributions and leadership have solidified her position as a respected figure in the legal and business communities.
Katherine Adams is driven by a visionary approach to legal leadership, aiming to create a strong and ethical foundation for Apple's operations. As the general counsel and senior vice president of Legal and Global Security at Apple, she plays a vital role in shaping the company's legal strategy and ensuring compliance with global regulations. With a deep understanding of the complexities of the technology industry, Adams envisions a legal environment that fosters innovation, protects intellectual property, and upholds the highest standards of integrity.
Adams recognizes the critical role of corporate governance in maintaining transparency and accountability. Her vision includes implementing robust governance practices that promote fairness, ethical conduct, and long-term value creation. By championing a culture of compliance and responsible business practices, she seeks to build trust among stakeholders and contribute to Apple's reputation as a global leader in the technology sector.
With a keen focus on intellectual property, Adams is committed to protecting Apple's innovations and inventions. She envisions a legal framework that safeguards Apple's intellectual property rights while also fostering an environment that encourages creativity and continuous innovation. By ensuring strong intellectual property protection, she aims to support Apple's competitive advantage and contribute to its ongoing success in the dynamic technology landscape.
Litigation and securities compliance are also central to Adams' vision. She strives to navigate complex legal challenges effectively while mitigating risks and protecting Apple's interests. Her vision includes leveraging her expertise in litigation management to minimize potential legal disputes and ensure favourable outcomes when necessary. Additionally, Adams remains vigilant in upholding securities compliance, ensuring that Apple meets regulatory requirements and maintains transparency in its financial reporting.
Global security and privacy are integral components of Adams' vision for Apple. In an increasingly interconnected world, she recognizes the importance of safeguarding user data and protecting against cyber threats. By implementing robust security measures, Adams aims to provide customers with confidence in the privacy and security of their personal information. Her vision also includes collaborating with industry stakeholders, government entities, and advocacy groups to establish industry best practices and standards in the realm of data protection.
Recognition and Awards
- Katherine Adams Senior Vice President and General Counsel | Apple
- Apple Inc | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Tim Cook | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Katherine Adams biography | Wikipedia
- Katherine Adams profile | Aspen Institute
- Katherine L Adams "Kate" Senior VP/Secretary/General Counsel, Apple Inc | Bloomberg
- Katherine Adams - Apple Senior Vice President General Counsel | Macro Axis
- Brown University | openbusinesscouncil.org
- University of Chicago | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Biography of Katherine L. Adams | The American Law Institute
- New York University | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Columbia University | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Inspiring Women: Apple’s Senior VP and General Counsel Kate Adams shares her life lessons as a high flying working mother | Hello Magazine
- Katherine Adams' biography | The Official Board
- A Conversation with alumna Kate Adams of Honeywell | Sidley
- BRIEF-Apple names Katherine Adams general counsel and SVP | Reuters
- Apple hires Kate Adams as new General Counsel | iPhone JD