managing through misconceptions
Gina Adams knows firsthand that some people are surprised to see an AfricanAmerican woman as the top lobbyist for one of the world’s leading multinational corporations.
For example, Adams once traveled internationally with a us delegation to negotiate a bilateral aviation agreement. entering the meeting room, the group’s host pointed to her and said to one of the male delegates, “Your assistant can sit in that corner.” “i felt the weight of what W.e.B. duBois once described as a ‘dual consciousness’ for people of color, the pressure of having to be aware of how we’re perceived (by the mainstream culture) and how we see ourselves,” she says, “and it can equally apply to gender. so sometimes, we wonder about—but don’t dwell on—the motivations for how we’re treated”. With a J.d. from Howard university, and an LL.m. from georgetown, she began her career at the department of transportation. she joined Fedex in 1992, and became svP of the government and regulatory Affairs team in 2001, leading one of the largest corporate PACs in the united states. Her work has enabled her to cross paths with five US presidents, numerous world leaders and other power players. she’s committed to service, focusing on community, arts and education, with board memberships including the Alvin Ailey American dance theater, national museum of Women in the Arts, economic Club of Washington and her alma maters, American university and Howard university. the recipient of numerous national honors, she was included in elle magazine’s 10 most Compelling Women in Washington (2016), as well as Savoy Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America. she doesn’t let people’s misconceptions and micro-aggressions faze her. “i have great instincts, a willingness to trust them, patience and the ability to outwork anyone.”