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Katrina  Adams

Katrina Adams

Author, Own The Arena & Vice President, International Tennis Federation (ITF) Executive Director


With an outstanding track record in leading, innovating and collaborating, Katrina Adams is a woman of many firsts. She is the first African American to lead the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the first two-term Chairman and President (2015-2018) of said organization, and the first former player to hold that honor. Read More >

As the youngest person to hold the responsibility of over $300 million in revenue while representing excellence in sport, Adams has showcased her ability to impact, influence, and make sound business decisions while navigating a plethora of moving parts and over 700,000 members.

Under her tutelage the USTA achieved a number of major milestones, including the opening of the 100-court USTA National Campus in Orlando, the strategic transformation of the $600 million USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., and an unprecedented outreach effort into underserved communities in an effort to share the sport of tennis with more people.

Having attended Northwestern University and led her team to a Big Ten Championship in 1986 and partnered with Diane Donnelly to win the 1987 NCAA Doubles Championship, Adams learned early on the importance of teamwork. A familiar face in sports commentary, as a professional player Adams competed for 12 years on the WTA Tour, winning 20 career doubles titles and reaching the quarterfinals or better in doubles at all four Grand Slam events. By operating at the highest level in sport and business she has been able to lead successive boards in setting clearly defined strategies to further the organizations’ missions and ensure they have the tools needed to execute and excel.

Adams’ sheer determination and hard work in tennis, leadership, and philanthropy has earned her many accolades, including being named to Adweek’s “Most Powerful Women in Sports” list twice (2016 and 2017); Forbes’ “Most Powerful Women in Sports” list in 2017; and Ebony’s “Power 100” list.

As vice president of the prestigious International Tennis Federation, chairman of the Billie Jean King Cup committee, chairman of the Gender Equality in Tennis committee, executive board member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the executive director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, Adams believes this is just the beginning. She has branched into the private sector as a board member of Pivotal Acquisition Corp III, GSE Worldwide and Athletes Unlimited, and as an advisory board member of Full Court Tennis and Highlight Pro Skydiving Team. In addition, she is a nominating committee member of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.
A native of Chicago, Adams lives in Yonkers, New York. Her maiden novel Own the Arena was published in 2021. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Tennis Champion Katrina Adams Talks About Her New Book | GMA

From Tennis Court to the C-Suite | PBS Newshour

Paving the Way for Black Women on the Court | CBS Chicago

Speech Topics

Own the Arena: Getting Ahead, Making a Difference & Succeeding as the Only One