Adams is a teacher, policy wonk, writer, and creative performer. In the teaching world he is professor of international relations at the School of International Service, American University, in Washington, D.C. For policy wonks he is known as a distinguished fellow (too old to be a senior fellow) at Washington’s Stimson Center, where he directs the Budgeting for Foreign Policy and Defense program (www.stimson.org/budgeting). He also writes a regular column for the web edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. His new book, with Cindy Williams, Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home, was published in January 2010. It draws on his experience as the senior White House staffer for national security budgeting in the Clinton White House. He continues to be passionate about reversing the trend toward using the military as the leading edge of U.S. global engagement, working with the Obama administration and the Congress to strengthen U.S. diplomatic and development capabilities.
On the creative side, Adams continues to write poetry, and he is increasingly cast on stage. He appeared in four shows in the Washington, D.C., area in the past year in the following roles: Shelly Wallach in Jules Feiffer’s The Bad Friend, Major Metcalf in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, Sgt. Rough in Patrick Hamilton’s Angel Street, and Froggy LeSueur in Larry Shue’s The Foreigner.