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Katherine L. Adams

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Katherine Adams
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BornKatherine Leatherman Adams
(1964-04-20) April 20, 1964 (age 55)
New York City, New York, U.S.
EducationBrown University (B.A., Comparative Literature)
University of Chicago Law School (J.D.)
OccupationGeneral Counsel and Senior Vice President
EmployerApple Inc.
PredecessorBruce Sewell
Board member ofApple Inc.
Spouse(s)Forwood C. Wiser III (m. 1993–present)

Katherine Leatherman "Kate" Adams is an American attorney and corporate lawyer, currently General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal and Global Security at Apple Inc.[1]

Early life and educations[edit]

Katherine Leatherman Adams was born on April 20, 1964 in New York City, the daughter of John Hamilton Adams and Patricia Brandon (Smith) Adams.

In 1986, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature with French and German concentrations from Brown University,[2][3] and, in 1990, a Juris Doctoral degree from the University of Chicago Law School,[2][4][3] where she was the recipient of the Order of the Coif.[3]


After graduation, Adams worked as a law clerk for Stephen Breyer, then Chief Justice United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit;[3][5][4] as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Appellate Section, Environment and Natural Resources division;[4][3] and as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Supreme Court of the United States.[4][3][6][7] She then joined the Chicago-based law firm Sidley Austin LLP,[4][3] working in its New York City[3] office for ten years as an associate and then as a partner.[2][4][7] In 2003, she moved to Honeywell,[4][3] where she worked for fourteen years, becoming the senior vice president and general counsel.[4][3][7] She was in charge of the organization's global legal strategy for its 128,000 workforce[3] in more than 100 countries, and managed the full range of the company's legal affairs.[3][8]

Adams joined Apple Inc. on October 6, 2017, replacing the retiring Bruce Sewell as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal and Global Security.[2][6][7]

Adams has also taught law at New York University Law School[4][3] and environmental law at Columbia University Law School.[4][3]


In September 2008, Adams and other influential New Jerseyans, including 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics winner Paul Krugman, were invited to an Economic Roundtable hosted by Goldman Sachs' former Chairman and CEO, and ex-New Jersey Governor, Jon Corzine.[9] Additionally, in 2009, she was also nominated for NJBIZ's "Best 50 Women in Business awards program" which recognizes "New Jersey's most dynamic and distinguished women in business today".[10] In 2013, Adams was voted General Counsel of the Year for companies whose revenue exceeds one billion dollars.[3]


  1. "Katherine Adams joins Apple as general counsel and SVP". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Vokes-Dudgeon, Sophie (March 8, 2019). "Inspiring Women: Apple's Senior VP and General Counsel Kate Adams shares her life lessons as a high flying working mother". Hello!. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 "Congratulations To Kate Adams, General Counsel Of The Year". Corporate Counsel Business Journal. Darien, Connecticut: Law Business Media. June 22, 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 "Katherine Adams, '90: Bringing the Family Passion for the Environment into the Boardroom". The University of Chicago Law School. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  5. "5 Insights From Honeywell General Counsel Kate Adams". Law360. November 7, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Coyle, Marcia (October 18, 2017). "Kate Adams, Apple's Incoming General Counsel, Was 'Peacemaker' as SCOTUS Clerk". Law.com. The National Law Journal. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Around the house". The Global Legal Post. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  8. "Honeywell Leadership". 1.honeywell.com. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  9. "Gov. Corzine Conducts Economic Roundtable". Cape May County Herald. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  10. "Business Events". NJBIZ.com. Retrieved 2015-05-28.

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