Charles C. Adams Jr.

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Charles Adams
Charles Adams Jr.jpg
United States Ambassador to Finland
In office
August 4, 2015 – January 20, 2017
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Bruce Oreck
Personal details
Born Charles C. Adams Jr.
(1947-08-25) August 25, 1947 (age 70)
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom,
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Dartmouth College
University of Virginia

Charles C. Adams Jr. (born August 25, 1947) is the former United States Ambassador to Finland.[1]

Previously, he was an American international arbitration expert[2] and American political and social activist. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, he served as co-chair of Americans Abroad for Obama, a Democratic Party fundraising and networking organization of Americans living overseas.[3][4]

He also served as a member of the National Finance Committee of the 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, a position he also held during the 2008 Obama campaign.[5]

He was nominated Ambassador to Finland by President Barack Obama in July 2014 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 24, 2015.[6]

Early life[edit]

Adams was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland,[7] one of six children of Charles C. Adams, a career diplomat with the U.S. State Department, and the former Florence Schneider of Brooklyn, New York. He was raised in the countries of his father’s assignments, including Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, Morocco and Senegal, as well as the Washington, D.C. area.

He attended Dartmouth College and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968. From 1968-70, he was a Peace Corps volunteer, serving in Kenya.[8] Following the Peace Corps, he attended law school at University of Virginia, receiving his juris doctor degree in 1973.

Work history[edit]

Adams began practicing international law in Washington, D.C., and moved to Paris before establishing residence in Geneva in 1986.

Currently, Adams is partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, an international law firm based in the United States. He leads the firm's international arbitration practice, with a focus on high-value disputes, and serves as head of the firm's Geneva office. His practice includes major infrastructure and construction projects, joint venture agreements, intellectual property, insurance, energy, manufacturing, telecommunications and transportation industries.[9]

He occasionally serves on international arbitration panels, and appears frequently on various news media outlets, commenting on U.S. political issues.[10][11]

Notable publications include English Supreme Court Upholds Party Autonomy in International Arbitration, which examined a 2011 British high court decision which called into question tenets of impartiality when setting up international arbitration panels.[12] In 2012, Adams provided historical roots and context to current issues in an article titled The State of Arbitration, published by a leading international professional journal.[13] In an article published in early 2013, Adams makes a case that as costs rise, Switzerland is an ideal location to conduct international arbitration. "The domestic courts take a hands-off approach, and the certainly a benefit. There is also a well developed infrastructure in place and compared to other centers such as London or Paris it is perhaps surprisingly lower in cost," he said.[14]

In addition to English, he speaks French, German and Swahili.


He serves as Executive-in-Residence and on the board of advisers of the Taylor Institute, a research and post-graduate study center of Franklin University Switzerland.[15][16]

He also serves on the board of advisers of End Human Trafficking Now, a human rights group.[17] He is a past president of the International Center for Humanitarian Reporting, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[18]

He is a member of the board of trustees of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre, an initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.[19]

He is a frequent guest lecturer at the International Development Law Organization, the University of Geneva and other institutions of legal education.[20]

He serves as a Member of the Board of Advisors of Global Panel Foundation, an NGO that works behind the scenes in crisis areas around the world.[21]


  1. ^ "Senate Confirms Six Ambassadors Including Two for Baltics". 24 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "The State of Arbitration,'' Global Arbitration Review, March 13, 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-26. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "CBS News, August 27, 2012". 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  4. ^ Mikelbank, Peter. "People Magazine, September 2, 2008". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  5. ^ Heilprin, John (2012-08-27). "Washington Times, August 27, 2012". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Charles C Adams, Hogan & Hartson LLP". Lawyer Central. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  8. ^ Della Casa, Henri (2008-10-31). "Geneva Tribune article". Geneva Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  9. ^ "Dispute Resolution, Lawyer of the Year, 2012". Corporate LiveWire. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  10. ^ "Democratic Rule". The Lawyer. 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  11. ^ "Charles Adams on AGEFI TV/Swiss media". AGEFI. 2012-10-31. Archived from the original on 2012-12-23. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  12. ^ "English Supreme Court Upholds Party Autonomy in International Arbitration". AkinGump. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  13. ^ "The State of Arbitration" (PDF). Global Arbitration Review. 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  14. ^ "International Arbitration: Addressing the Concerns of the Business Community". Law.Com. 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  15. ^ "Taylor Institute board of advisors". Archived from the original on 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  16. ^ "Charles Adams, Executive-in-Residence". 2012-09-01. Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  17. ^ "End Human Trafficking Now board of advisors". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  18. ^ "Should Journalists Be Crusaders?". The Quill. 1997-05-01. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  19. ^ "DIAC Board of Trustees". Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  20. ^ "Akin Gump biography". AkinGump. Archived from the original on 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  21. ^ "Board of Advisors". Global Panel. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Bruce Oreck
United States Ambassador to Finland