A Conversation with John and Patricia Adams: A Force for Nature

November 16, 2010 - Duke Law School and the Nicholas School of the Environment are pleased to host a conversation with John Adams L'62 H'05 and his wife and life partner, Patricia. Professor James Salzman will facilitate this discussion as the Adams share the story of A Force of Nature, their powerful memoir that conveys the struggles, and victories of building a large political action organization, telling the story of National Resources Defense Council. The NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. John Adams served as NRDC's executive director and later president from the organization's inception in 1970 until stepping down in 2006. He continues to play an active role in NRDC's work. 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. Patricia Adams is a teacher, writer, and author of three books and numerous articles. She has partnered with John in their environmental life and the building of NRDC. James Salzman is the Samuel F. Mordecai Professor of Law and Nicholas Institute Professor of Environmental Policy.