Katrina M. Adams
Chairman of the Board, CEO and President
United States Tennis Association, White Plains, N.Y.
Katrina M. Adams has always been competitive, but the day she challenged her older brothers to a game of tennis proved to be a life-changing stroke of genius. “If you insist on playing, play to win big; and if you don’t like competition, get out of the game,” she likes to say. It’s a stance she has taken in her professional life. Nearly three decades after challenging her brothers, Adams has become the first African-American and first former professional tennis player to serve as Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of the United States Tennis Association, the world’s largest tennis organization with more than 700,000 individual members and 7,000 organizational members.
Adams champions youth tennis as executive director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, an afterschool and summer program focusing on tennis, education, nutrition and self-development. Under her leadership, the program has grown from serving 80 youths to more than 1,000 each year.
A National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) All-American in 1986 and 1987, and the first African-American NCAA doubles champion in 1987, Adams lends her sports expertise to television as an analyst for the nation’s leading tennis channel, providing play-by-play commentary. She co-hosts CBS Sports Network’s first all-female sports show, “We Need to Talk,” and serves as a commentator for the U.S. Open Quali-fying, the Tennis Channel’s French Open, the Big Ten Network’s Women’s Tennis Championships and ESPN’s Bausch + Lomb Championships. She is also a contributor to “Tennis Magazine,” offering expert analysis for the Tennis.com website.
A Chicago native, Adams attended Northwestern University, where she helped the Wildcats to a Big Ten championship in 1986. She has been inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women’s Collegiate Hall of Fame, Northwestern Hall of Fame, the USTA Midwest Section Hall of Fame, the Chicago District Tennis Hall of Fame and the Black Tennis Hall of Fame.