Adams, 66, is noted for organizing fund-raising events in Geneva for Obama involving Hollywood actor George Clooney during the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
Obama announced last week his intention to nominate the lawyer to the diplomatic post in Finland among a batch of other planned appointments, including new ambassadors to the United Arab Emirates, Malawi and Bahrain.
Adams is managing partner at the Geneva office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a law firm, a position he has held since 2010.
He was previously a managing partner at two other law firms in Geneva.
A native of Northern Ireland and the son of a career diplomat, Adams became known in the Swiss city for his support of the Democratic Party and in particular of Obama’s successful presidential bids.
According to the Associated Press news agency, he raised $500,000 for the president’s re-election bid in 2012.
In 2008, he invited Clooney to his home in Geneva’s Old Town where well-heeled Americans paid for the honour of breaking bread with the star and hearing his political views.
Adams graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law and earned a BA from Dartmouth College.
He has worked as an attorney in Washington, DC and Paris and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya from 1968 to 1970.