Area of Focus
Innovation Business strategy Culture

Joe Adams

Global Strategy Advisor, Chairperson, RSM International Ltd. Board of Directors
Area of Focus
Innovation Business strategy Culture

About Joe

Joe Adams joined RSM in 1979 and currently serves in a global strategy advisory role for RSM US LLP and as chairperson of the RSM International Ltd. Board of Directors where he supports the development and deployment of global strategies. From 2011 to 2022, he served as managing partner & CEO of RSM US LLP, where he led the firm to record growth; established a unique culture grounded in the firm’s vision, purpose and values; and carved out the firm’s position as the leading voice of the middle market through its proprietary economic thought leadership, industry eminence, and influence on professional standards and policies.


A student of strategy and leadership, Joe has more than 40 years of experience with RSM, ascending through various leadership positions to advance the firm’s goals and objectives. He started at the firm as an auditor, specializing in assurance, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, operations, and organizational and strategic matters. He is passionate about RSM’s people, clients, and middle market strategy, and he has a deep commitment to talent development to bolster RSM’s unrivaled culture and increase consistency in client and talent experiences around the globe.

RSM experienced tremendous growth under Joe’s leadership as managing partner & CEO. He and the RSM team nearly tripled the size of the organization through organic and acquisitive growth and launched RSM Canada, as well as the RSM global brand. Joe’s lasting impact on talent development and culture at RSM is evident. He championed the firm’s open and accepting culture and provided every employee opportunities and support to be successful.

As a chairperson of the RSM International Ltd. Board of Directors, Joe plays a critical role in helping to develop and deploy strategies to build RSM’s global brand and enable consistent client and talent experiences everywhere in the world RSM operates.

Joe is a father of five, grandfather of 13, and now a great-grandfather, and he has a keen sense of the challenges of balancing family and work life. When he’s not at work, he spends time with family, follows Chicago sports teams, and plays golf. He has played all the top 10 golf courses in the United States. 

Professional affiliations and designations

  • Certified public accountant
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Illinois CPA Society
  • Economic Club of Chicago


  • Bachelor of Science in Business, accounting, DePaul University
  • Master of Business Administration, DePaul University