The Volunteer Who Became the U. S. Ambassador to Finland | Charles C. Adams, jr. (Kenya)


by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65)


Charles C. Adams, jr. was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the son of a career diplomat in the U. S. Department of State. He was raised in the countries of his father’s assignments, including Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, Morocco and Senegal, including Washington, D. C.

Charles C. Adams,

Charles attended Dartmouth College, receiving a BA degree in 1968. From 1969 to 1970, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Kenya, where he taught French, German and Swahili. Following his service, he attended law school at the University of Virginia, and received  his J. D. degree in 1973.  Thus was he was prepared to undertake a professional life focused on international Humanitarian activities and foreign service.

He became a partner in an international law firm based in the U. S. and he lead 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. He occasionally serves on international arbitration panels, and appears frequently on various news media outlets, commenting on U. S. political issues.

Charles serves on several Boards, such as Executive-in-Residence on the Board of Advisers of the Taylor Institute, a research and post-graduate study center of the Franklin University in Switzerland. He also serves on the board of advisers, of End Human Trafficking Now, a human rights group. He is the past president of the International Center for Humanitarian Reporting, located in Cambridge, Mass. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the International Development Law Organization, the University of Geneva, and other institutions of higher education. He also serves on the board of trustees of End Human Trafficking Now, a human rights groups.  Charles is also a member of the board of trustees of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre, an initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Based in Geneva, Charles served as a member of the National Finance Committee of the 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign. He served as co-chair of Americans Abroad for Obama, a networking organization of Americans living overseas and raised money for Democratic candidates.

He was nominated Ambassador to Finland by then-President Barack Obama in July 2014 and served in that post until January 2017.


Given Charles’s extensive career as an international arbitration expert, an American political and social activist, and his distinguished service as an Ambassador, he most surely is highly recommended to be recognized for a Profile in Citizenship.


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