BioAdam Smith was born on June 15, 1965, in Washington, D.C. Adopted as an infant, he was raised in SeaTac, Washington where his father, Ben, worked as a ramp serviceman at SeaTac Airport and was active in the local Machinists’ Union. His mother, Leila, stayed at home, raising Adam and his two brothers. Adam attended Bow Lake Elementary, Chinook Middle School, and Tyee High School, graduating from Tyee in 1983.
After a year at Western Washington University, Adam transferred to Fordham University, where he worked his way through college loading trucks for United Parcel Service and graduated in 1987 with a degree in Political Science. Following his graduation, Adam attended the University Of Washington School Of Law, and earned his law degree in 1990. He later worked in both private and public practice, first as a lawyer at Cromwell, Mendoza and Belur in 1992, and then as a prosecutor for the City of Seattle from 1993-1995. As a prosecutor, Adam focused on drunk driving and domestic violence cases, and in 1996, went on to work as a judge pro tempore.
During his final year at UW, Adam decided to run for the State Senate in the 33rd Legislative District, where he grew up. He campaigned door to door, eventually doorbelling the entire district twice and defeating the 16 year incumbent in the 1990 election. When he took office in January 1991, Adam was 25 years old and the youngest State Senator in the country. While in the State Senate, Adam served on the Education and Law and Justice Committees, and served as Chair of the Law and Justice Committee from 1993-1997. Despite the strong Republican tide in 1994, Adam was re-elected to the State Senate in 1994 and his victory helped the Democrats retain control of the State Senate by one seat. During his time in the State Senate, Adam developed a reputation as a moderate Democrat, with a thoughtful and common sense approach to governance.
Now in his 8th term, Smith serves as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he is a strong advocate for our military personnel and their families. Smith is committed to providing our military personnel with the best equipment available to carry out their current and future missions while ensuring that the Pentagon spends taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and effective manner. This includes carefully examining our current policies and working to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.
Adam also served until recently on both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. As a 14-year member of the House Armed Services Committee, he most recently chaired the Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces (ALF) and prior to that, the Subcommittee Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities (TUTC). The ALF subcommittee has jurisdiction of all Army and nearly all Air Force acquisition programs, while TUTC oversees the nation’s Special Operations Forces and counter-terrorism policy, among other critical areas. During the last Congress, Adam also served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he was responsible for overseeing and funding the intelligence community and intelligence-related activities and programs of the United States government.
Given his committee assignments and extensive travel, Smith has unique insights into today’s foremost national security issues, including the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan as well as our larger efforts to stop the spread of extremist groups and their violent ideology around the globe. Smith has traveled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, countries throughout the Middle East as well as counties across Eastern, Central and Northern Africa where U.S. national security interests are most apparent. Harnessing his committee and travel experience, Smith has authored and passed legislation on national security issues such as strategic communication, irregular warfare, and international development.
In 1993, Adam married Spokane native, Sara Bickle-Eldridge, a graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University School of Law. Their daughter, Kendall Charlotte, was born in July 2000, followed by their son, Jack Evers, in June 2003. The Smiths live in Northeast Tacoma, where their children attend Northeast Tacoma Elementary school and participate in the local sports leagues, and they attend church at St. Matthew’s in Browns Point. Both Adam and Sara are involved in various community organizations and Sara recently served two terms as PTA President at their children’s school.