John Adams served as NRDC's executive director and later president from the organization's inception in 1970 until stepping down in 2006. His tenure is unparalleled by the leader of any other environmental organization.

John is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Duke University School of Law. Prior to his work at NRDC, John served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. He is chair of the board of the Open Space Institute and sits on the boards of numerous other environmental organizations. He has also served on governmental advisory committees, including President Clinton's Council for Sustainable Development.

John continues to play an active role in NRDC's work.

Rolling Stone writes, "If the planet has a lawyer, it's John Adams."