Public Service Recognition Week: Eric Adams


In 2007, about 2,000 Government Accountability Office employees decided to unionize with The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. It was the first time in the GAO’s 91-year history that its employees were represented by a labor organization. That’s when Eric Adams decided to jump ship from his previous agency and apply for the Director of Workforce Relations at GAO.

“It was an opportunity for me to start a labor program here from the ground up,” Adams said.

Adams says his main role is being a liaison between the agency’s management and the roughly 2,500 non-management employees.

“I think all organizations want their employees to be involved and care about what they think,” Adams said, “and I think employees in any workplace take interest in decisions which effect them.”

While he represents the agency’s management interests, Adams reaches out to employees to see which programs aren’t working and which programs are successful.

“A program that is effective that allows for the agency to get its mission done is Telework,” Adams said.

The benefit of his job, Adams says, is an accountable, high performing, motivated workforce carrying out the mission of the agency.

Listen to Adams’ views on public service.


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  1. A union steward is not public service. He serves the members of his union and their interests, period. If his salary is coming out of the federal budget, an investigation should begin immediately.

  2. norm from ga on

    Oh, he getting a federal salary, and then some. The perks of being a steward are pretty well known.

    Of course, the perks of being a executive at GAO are only now being disclosed…

  3. Unions are entirely inappropriate for public service, whether at the federal, state, or local (county or city) level.

    Public service is supposed to be a priviledge where compensation is rightly determined by the taxpayer. The public is willing to pay for responsible, honest and accountable employees, again, at all levels of government.

    Would to God Congress adopt the same mindset!

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