Executive Vice President, National Geographic Society
Terry Adamson is executive vice president of the National Geographic Society. In this position, which he has held since January 1998, he is responsible for the publication of local-language editions of National Geographic magazine and other international publications. He also is the Society’s chief legal officer and oversees law, business and governmental affairs. He is responsible for coordinating relationships and maintaining good relations with governments around the world and in the United States.
Additionally, Adamson serves as corporate secretary of the Society and is a member of the Society’s Education Foundation board of governors. He was a member, from its 1996 inception through 2012, of the board of directors of National Geographic Ventures, the Society’s wholly owned taxable subsidiary. He is a member of the management board of the Worldwide Magazine Media Association (FIPP).
Prior to joining the National Geographic Society in 1998, Adamson was a partner in the Washington office of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler, a New York-based law firm. He was a senior official of the Department of Justice during the Carter administration as special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States from 1977 to 1979, as well as chief spokesman of the Department of Justice from 1978 to 1979.
Adamson was a reporter for The Atlanta Constitution from 1969 to 1971 and served as a law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Griffin B. Bell from 1973 to 1974. He was a Henry Luce Scholar in Tokyo, Japan, from 1975 to 1976 and a fellow of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University from 1979 to 1980.
Adamson served as chairman of the board of trustees of the Asia Foundation for more than five years and still serves as a trustee. He has served as a member of the board of trustees and executive committee of the Carter Center in Atlanta since its inception. He represents the Carter family on the Advisory Committee on Presidential Libraries at the National Archives. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Henry Luce Foundation and is a regular member of the selection panel of Henry Luce Scholars.
By appointment of presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton, and three Senate confirmations, he served on the board of directors of the State Justice Institute from 1990 to 2010.
Adamson holds a bachelor's degree in history from Emory University and a law degree with honors from Emory University. He was named as one of Emory University’s 175 History Makers in December 2011.