Chairman, CEO, and President, United States Tennis Association
Katrina Adams has never stopped moving. She’s battled on the court at Wimbledon, worked as one of tennis’ top TV commentators, and opened doors for the next generation of athletes as head of the White Plains-based United States Tennis Association (USTA).
Since she was young, Adams has been determined to achieve greatness. “I have been surrounded my entire life by powerful women,” she says. When Adams played professional tennis in the 1980s and 1990s, “The media made such a big deal of my being one of the few African Americans on the tour; it made me look at things a little differently, but not in a negative way. I saw it as an opportunity and as an asset,” she says.
That mindset served Adams well as she transitioned from the tennis court to an executive suite. For the past 10 years, she has been the executive director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, and, in January 2015, she became the first African American head of the USTA, as well as the youngest person and first former professional player to attain that office.
“[Becoming head of the USTA] put me in a position to know that I have the ability and wherewithal to mentor others,” she says, “and to guide them through a process if they, too, want to achieve the highest heights.”