Board of Visitors - Representative Adam Smith (WA-09), ex officio
Adam Smith was born on June 15, 1965, in Washington, D.C. Adam was raised in SeaTac, Washington where his father, Ben, worked as a ramp serviceman at SeaTac Airport and was active in the local Machinists’ Union. His mother, Leila, stayed at home, raising Adam and his two brothers. Adam attended Bow Lake Elementary, Chinook Middle School, and Tyee High School, graduating from Tyee in 1983.
After a year at Western Washington University, Adam transferred to Fordham University, where he worked his way through college loading trucks for United Parcel Service and graduated in 1987 with a degree in Political Science. Following his graduation, Adam attended the University Of Washington School Of Law, and earned his law degree in 1990. He later worked in both private and public practice, first as a lawyer at Cromwell, Mendoza and Belur in 1992, and then as a prosecutor for the City of Seattle from 1993-1995. As a prosecutor, Adam focused on drunk driving and domestic violence cases, and in 1996, went on to work as a judge pro tempore.
During his final year at UW, Adam decided to run for the State Senate in the 33rd Legislative District, where he grew up. He campaigned door to door, eventually doorbelling the entire district twice and defeating the 16 year incumbent in the 1990 election. When he took office in January 1991, Adam was 25 years old and the youngest State Senator in the country. While in the State Senate, Adam served on the Education and Law and Justice Committees, and served as Chair of the Law and Justice Committee from 1993-1997. Despite the strong Republican tide in 1994, Adam was re-elected to the State Senate in 1994 and his victory helped the Democrats retain control of the State Senate by one seat. During his time in the State Senate, Adam developed a reputation for having a thoughtful and common sense approach to governance.
Adam serves as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, where he is a strong advocate for our military personnel and their families. Adam is also committed to providing our military personnel with the best equipment available to carry out their current and future missions while ensuring that the Pentagon spends taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and effective manner. This includes carefully examining our current policies and working to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse.
Having served on the House Armed Services Committee since he started in Congress, Adam formerly chaired the Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces (ALF), which had jurisdiction over all Army and nearly all Air Force acquisition programs. Prior to serving as Chair of ALF, Adam chaired the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, which oversaw the United States Special Operations Forces and counter-terrorism policy, among other critical areas. Adam has also previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.