Katherine L. Adams is an American attorney and corporate lawyer who has served as the general counsel and senior vice president of legal and global security at Apple Inc. since 2017.
Early life and education
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, and, in 1990, a Juris Doctoral degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was the recipient of the Order of the Coif.
After graduation, Adams worked as a law clerk for Stephen Breyer, then chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Appellate Section, Environment and Natural Resources division; and as a law clerk for associate justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the Supreme Court of the United States.
She then joined the Chicago-based law firm Sidley Austin, working in its New York City office for ten years as an associate and then as a Partner. In 2003, she moved to Honeywell, where she worked for fourteen years, becoming the senior vice president and general counsel. She was in charge of the organization's global legal strategy for its 128,000 workforce in more than 100 countries, and managed the full range of the company's legal affairs.
Adams joined Apple Inc. on October 6, 2017, replacing the retiring Bruce Sewell as general counsel and SVP of legal and global security.
Adams has also taught law at New York University Law School and environmental law at Columbia University Law School.