Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, FedEx Corp., Washington, D.C.
In for a penny, in for a pound. It’s the big-picture philosophy of Gina Ferguson Adams’s life. “Once I’m involved in something, I’m fully involved and committed to getting the job done,” says the senior vice president for government affairs at FedEx Corp., the world’s top express package transportation provider. That philosophy has helped make Adams a rising star at FedEx, which she joined in 1992 as managing attorney in the international regulatory affairs department. Today, as FedEx’s top lobbyist, Adams is front and center on Washington’s political landscape, protecting and promoting the legislative interests of all of FedEx’s operating companies before Congressional leaders, White House officials, policymakers, the diplomatic community and industry associations.
Adams’s life as a globe-hopping, top legal eagle mirrors her childhood dream of becoming a lawyer like her favorite television character, Perry Mason. “[From the age of fourteen], I saw myself as Perry Mason, and [even though] this character was played by a white actor, I never doubted that I could be that lawyer or that I could do something worthwhile with my life,” says the wife and mother. She obtained a bachelor’s degree from American University, a law degree from Howard University’s School of Law and master’s in international and comparative law from Georgetown University. She spent nine years at the office of international aviation within the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the General Counsel before moving to FedEx.
Adams praises the teachers and counselors at her alma mater, Ballou Senior High School, located in one of the poorest sections of South East Washington, D.C., for helping to “build my confidence and fight for myself.” In 2004, when Adams learned that the school’s marching band had earned a chance to compete in a national championship but could not afford the trip, she asked FedEx to step in, which it did with “a surprise $25,000 contribution.” The band won second place in the competition, and their triumph over adversity was chronicled in an award-winning film, Ballou: A Documentary. “If you work hard enough and think big enough, dreams do come true,” Adams says.