Earl Adams, Jr. was sworn in as deputy administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Adams has served as FMCSA’s chief counsel since July 2021. He takes over the role previously held by Robin Hutcheson, who was officially confirmed as FMCSA’s administrator in September 2022.
As deputy administrator, Adams will join Administrator Hutcheson to lead the agency and will oversee a portfolio of initiatives across various program offices that support FMCSA’s mission to prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
“Earl is a mission-driven leader and thinker who embodies the values of our agency and the entire Department of Transportation,” said Hutcheson. “His vast experience, intellect, and people skills are exactly what the role of deputy administrator calls for. I look forward to continuing to work with Earl on policies, initiatives, data-based strategies to prevent crashes, improve safety outcomes on our roadways, and ultimately achieve our goal of zero fatalities.”
Adams has extensive legal and executive experience across several modes, including surface transportation, rail, and aviation. In his role as chief counsel, Adams was responsible for legal policy on all aspects of agency programs and activities including the development, issuance, interpretation, enforcement, and defense of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations before state and federal courts. He also provided executive oversight for FMCSA’s technology and innovation portfolio, including rulemaking on autonomous vehicles.
Before joining FMCSA, Adams worked in the private sector with several law firms, and most recently as a litigation partner with a national law firm, where he also served as the managing partner of the firm’s office in Washington, D.C. His legal practice has focused on providing clients with regulatory and compliance counsel across several sectors, including transportation, renewable energy, and procurement.
Adams served as chief of staff to Maryland’s former lieutenant governor and has held several leadership positions in impactful organizations, including serving as the former chair of the board of directors for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, former vice chair of the Bowie State University Board of Visitors, and former board member of the Economic Club of Washington.
He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School, a master's in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a bacherlor's in psychology from Morehouse College.