Adam Edelen is a born problem solver who understands anything is possible when you give a hard working Kentuckian a shot to succeed.
Born in Meade County, Adam spent much of his youth working on his dad’s farm where they raised tobacco, corn, wheat, and soy beans. His parents’ grit and hard work helped shape his love for our Commonwealth’s heritage and an understanding of the strength and resilience of our people.
Growing up, Adam was provided educational opportunities which would lead him to the University of Kentucky and a career that, through ups and downs, successes and failures, has placed him in the position to ask Kentuckians for the chance to lead our Commonwealth and build a brighter Kentucky.
Adam has served Kentucky with distinction both as a statewide elected official and as chief of staff to Kentucky’s governor from 2008 to 2010. In 2011, Adam was honored to be elected Kentucky State Auditor, and quickly earned a reputation as a bold reformer who helped root out corruption and government waste.
Adam’s efforts to guard taxpayer dollars led to the prosecution and imprisonment of crooked politicians who sought to use their offices for personal gain. Adam also led the charge in uncovering fraud and abuse in Kentucky’s nearly $3 billion system of “Ghost Government” special taxing districts which robbed taxpayers and depleted crucial funds for local governments.
In 2015, Adam used his office to uncover a shameful lack of testing of more than 3,000 previously unaccounted-for rape kits in Kentucky, a backlog that denied and delayed justice to victims across the Commonwealth.
In business, Adam is the founder of Edelen Strategic Ventures, a Kentucky company that assists entrepreneurs looking to bring new businesses and jobs to the Commonwealth. A founder and partner in a number of startups in the energy technology and sustainability industry, Adam has helped position Kentucky to be the nation’s next breakout state in solar and renewable energy. One of his largest projects includes bringing into reality the biggest solar installation in Appalachia, to be built by out-of-work coal miners on a mountaintop removal site.
Adam’s record of service in public life and private industry have earned him national recognition and helped him emerge as one of Kentucky’s and our nation’s new generation of leaders. He has been named the Outstanding Young Kentuckian and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. The latter is among the most prestigious youth service awards and previous honorees include Presidents Kennedy, Ford, Nixon, and Clinton.
More recently, he has been honored by the Aspen Institute, the German Marshall Fund, and the Kentucky Rural Health Association. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. He is an avid sportsman, student of history, and faithful Wildcat basketball fan.
Adam and his wife Melissa live on a farm in Fayette County with twin sons, seventh-graders Hamilton and Wade.