Judith Elaine Adams, 80, Passes Away
On May 31, 2022, 80-year-old Judith Elaine Adams went home to God. She had served as deputy mayor and presidential appointee at the Justice Department.
She has also worked as a prosecutor, police reserve officer, legal advocate for sexual assault victims and director of Stuart House – a center that helps children who have been mistreated – as well as serving on its board of directors and chairing its Women’s Foundation of California committee and serving on CalArts and Bet Tzedek Legal Services as trustees.
Early Life and Education
Adams hails from Tillar, Arkansas where her family was active in community activism; including her mother, sister and aunts being activists themselves. Adams credits the reading of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique with awakening her early feminist awareness.
As part of Governor Gray Davis’ Cabinet, she oversaw State Departments responsible for consumer protection, civil rights enforcement and state procurement as well as two internationally-acclaimed museums and one of California’s largest pension funds. Additionally, she helped coordinate California’s response to its energy crisis while overseeing construction of one of America’s most sustainable campuses UC Merced.
Adams has also served as a prosecutor, Los Angeles City Fire Commissioner, and legal advisor to UCLA Rape Treatment Center. She currently works as LA’s Deputy Mayor for Strategic Partnerships under Mayor Villaragoisa to foster collaboration among philanthropies and nonprofits.
Aileen Adams held various government positions, from director of the Office for Victims of Crime for the Department of Justice to serving on Los Angeles City Fire Commissions and providing legal counsel for UCLA’s Rape Treatment Center. She also cofounded Stuart House – an interagency center dedicated to sexually abused children.
She attended Smith College and Howard University Law School before going on to join the California Bar Association and serve on multiple boards and commissions.
She currently serves as the National Education Association’s (NEA) Senior Advisor for Latino Advocacy and Partnership Engagement, wherein she oversees policy, grants and partnerships that advance their mission with Latino communities, public schools and other community stakeholders.
Achievement and Honors
At Los Angeles Mayor Villaragoisa’s request, she served as City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Partnerships promoting collaboration between philanthropy and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, she served as State Cabinet official and presidential appointee to the Justice Department where she directed its Office for Victims of Crime.
Adams also established the Masters of Applied Epidemiology program at University of Southern California and taught many students. Additionally, she has written numerous scientific articles and books related to infectious diseases and public health policy.
Adams leaves behind six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She was also a life member of the Women’s Foundation of California and served on its Board. Additionally, her work continues to be held by private collections worldwide.
Adams serves as Vice Provost for Strategic Alliances at Syracuse University and works to bring individuals and groups together to address problems. She partners with the provost to establish meaningful partnerships among private, government and community entities.
Adams has held top positions at all levels of government, from being appointed state cabinet member and presidential appointee in the U.S. Justice Department to prosecutor, police reserve officer, sexual assault victim advocate and co-founding and serving as director of Stuart House – a multiagency center dedicated to children who have been victims of abuse.
Dr. Mary Jo Wilson has chaired multiple boards, such as California Women’s Foundation and Bet Tzedek Legal Services. A graduate of Howard University Law School and Smith College – where she was honored as their outstanding alumna – she currently resides in Santa Rosa.
Adams is widely-renowned for her contributions to criminal justice. As Director of the Office for Victims of Crime at the Department of Justice, she oversees $500 million in Federal funds dedicated to victim assistance and compensation programs nationwide. Furthermore, Adams founded and directed a child sexual abuse treatment center.
Adams has been dating Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland since 2017 and have been very open about their relationship on social media.