Earl Adams, Jr. | Washington, D.C. | Hogan Lovells

Earl Adams, Jr.
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Credentials
  • Insights and events

Earl Adams, Jr., formerly Deputy Administrator and Chief Counsel at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation, is a distinguished transportation lawyer, with extensive experience across various sectors including surface transportation, intermodal operations and airports.

Earl seamlessly combines his roles as a public servant, litigator, and legal counsel to assist clients in navigating regulatory and policy challenges in the transportation sector. Before his role as Deputy Administrator, Earl was FMCSA’s Chief Counsel, overseeing all legal matters for the agency. 

He also has expertise in developing policies and rules relating to driver-assisted (ADAS) and autonomous driving (ADS) systems in large trucks and passenger vehicles. At FMCSA, he led the team that developed the agency’s first comprehensive set of rules for the ADS industry and served as the agency’s point person on several ADS-related USDOT task forces. 

Currently, he advises clients on compliance with US DOT transportation safety regulations, grant programs and enforcement actions, including those under FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). 

In airport operations, Earl has overseen airfield development projects, concession programs and implementation of minority-owned business initiatives.  He was a member of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board of Directors, including serving as Chairman from 2019 to 2021 during the COVID crisis.

Before his federal government experience, Earl was a litigation partner at a national law firm, where he served as the Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington, DC office.  He also served as a senior state official, managing an office overseeing a range of policy and budget issues, as a member of the governor’s Executive Cabinet.


  • Juris Doctor, Boston College Law School, 2002
  • Master in Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School, 2002
  • Bachelor of Arts, Morehouse College, 1997
Bar admissions and qualifications
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland