After earning his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma respectively, Dwight Adams joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent. Following his time in the Memphis office, he was transferred to the FBI Laboratory’s Research Team. This team was responsible for developing DNA techniques first used in 1988.
The first person to testify regarding DNA profiling, Adams testified for both the prosecution and defense more than 130 times. He served on the National DNA Advisory Board, responsible for creating standards governing all DNA testing crime laboratories in the United States, and was a member of the Attorney General's National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. Adams oversaw the creation of the National DNA Database which linked 200 crime laboratories. Since its creation, the database has resulted in the solving of more than 500,000 cases nationwide.
In 2003, Adams was the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award as Distinguished Executive, the highest award given in the Federal Government. He retired from the FBI following 23 years of service and serving as the director of the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, the largest crime lab in the world. Adams then returned home, to his alma mater, and became the first director of the W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute at the University of Central Oklahoma. The Institute is recognized as a national leader in forensic science education and the largest program in the country.