Applied sociologist Carol L. Adams is an experienced researcher, educator and human services administrator. Over the years she has developed many award-winning community initiatives.
In 1968, Adams began her career in academia as the research director for the Center for Inner City Studies (CICS) at Northeastern Illinois University. Over a ten-year period, she assumed greater responsibility as the CICS's assistant director and became a tenured associate professor. She developed a number of successful programs and key community partnerships for CICS during its early years.
Adams went on to spend several years as the first director of research and planning for the Neighborhood Institute, a division of South Shore Bank, which is now the Shorebank Institute. In just two years, Adams managed to establish several programs designed to promote community development, revitalization and self-sufficiency.
In 1981, Adams returned to academia as the director for Loyola University's African-American Studies program, a position she held until 1988. From 1989 to 1996, Adams worked for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). While at the CHA, Adams went from directing one department to managing thirteen departments and a $500 million budget.
Adams subsequently served as director for the International House of Blues Foundation and Chicago's Museums and Schools program before returning to Northeastern University as Executive Director of CICS in 2000. Under her direction, the Center experienced a new surge of growth in student enrollment, technological advancement, and community programming and collaborations.
In January 2003, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich named Adams secretary of the Department of Human Services. Adams has been the recipient of numerous research awards, grants and honors, including the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa key.
She studied at Fisk University, earning a B.A. in sociology in 1965 before pursuing graduate work (also in sociology) at Boston University (M.A. 1966), the University of Chicago (A.B.D. 1968-1970), and Union Graduate School (Ph.D. 1976).