Washington's Top Power Couples
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LAW & ORDER
Gina & Gene Adams
Inside the Beltway, the private and public sectors often have competing agendas. But in the case of Gina and Gene Adams, mingling the two creates one powerful combination.
Gina is a lawyer and top lobbyist for FedEx, overseeing one of the largest PACs in the US for a company that serves more than 220 countries and territories and delivers eight million packages worldwide. Gene is Washington's chief deputy attorney general, the city government's number-two lawyer, in charge of keeping a city of more than 600,000 people running smoothly. Together the jobs sound like organizational nightmares, but the Adamses have thrived despite the demands of their positions.
Gina spent nine years in the Office of General Counsel at the US Department of Transportation until FedEx called and offered her a job in 1992. Soon after, President Clinton appointed her to the National Commission to Ensure a Strong Competitive Airline Industry, and in 2001 she became senior vice president of government affairs for FedEx. She earned two FedEx Five Star Awards, the highest achievement at the company, for juggling tax, labor, and security issues. She has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Women of Color, as well as honors from the Black Women's Agenda. And in 2008, The Network Journal named Gina one of its 25 Influential Black Women in Business.
Gene's work deals with everything from civil and criminal litigation to real estate, municipal bonds, and economic development. His assignments are dictated by the city's mayor. "Policies change from administration to administration, which means my job constantly changes, keeping me on my toes," says Gene. "I'm never bored." Both say the constant evolution of their jobs keeps them motivated. "I love walking in the door with an agenda and then watching it be completely swept away," says Gina.
The flexibility of their combined schedules gives them time to cart around their 13-year-old son, Spenser—"We put in long hours, but we pace them; if one day is shorter, the next day is longer. We do that as well as we can around other obligations. One will pick up the slack if the other can't be there because of the work," admits Gina—and a weekend house in Leesburg gives them a chance to unwind away from the city. But they wouldn't give up the District for the world. "Washington is perfect. It has all the trappings of a big city without the anonymity," says Gina.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIP DAWKINS
Celebrating the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner at Carnegie Library.