Elizabeth Adams attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for her undergraduate studies, where she double-majored in Earth Systems, Environment, and Society, as well as in Global Studies: governance, conflict, and resolution. She minored in modern standard Arabic. She also studied colloquial Levantine Arabic, Jordanian history, and Diplomacy at the Jordanian Institute of Diplomacy in Amman, Jordan. She then began her MA studies at Columbia University’s Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies Department, where her research was primarily focused on the connections between proxy warfare, the Kurds, and conflict over the water of the Tigris and Euphrates river basin.
Adams has worked in a variety of non-profit organizations, notably the Arab American Institute, EcoPeace Middle East (Amman office), and AmeriCorps VISTA. She has served on the board of directors of the Prairie Land Conflict Mediation Center, where she also volunteered as a community mediator. In addition, she has worked in research at APL Engineered Materials, the Energy Biosciences Institute, the University of Illinois, and Columbia University.