Ninth Secretary, Robert McCormick Adams, by Hofmeister, Richard K, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Ninth Secretary Robert McCormick Adams, in his office sitting by his computer, leaves behind a legacy of cultural diversity at the Smithsonian. As leader of the Smithsonian from September 1984 to September 1994, Secretary Adams placed an emphasis on cultural and biological diversity, research, enhancing the quality of the institution's exhibitions and activities, and the expansion of the Smithsonian's educational programs..