Washington Life Magazine

Washington Life Magazine

 

 

The POWER 100

 

Peter Barris, Ted Leonsis, Joe Robert, Thomas Hale Boggs Jr
From top to bottom, left to right: Peter Barris, Ted Leonsis, Joe Robert, Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., Walter Isaacson, Bob Woodward, Placido Domingo, Katherine Bradley, David Rubenstein, Tom Friedman, Newt Gingrich, George Stephanopoulos, David Bradley, Terry McAuliff e, Tim Russert, Vernon Jordan, Frank Fahrenkophf Jr., Bob Johnson, Dan Glickman, P. Wesley Foster, Jr. Debra Lee and Steve Case

Some men, and some women, are born with power, to paraphrase the old adage, while others have it thrust upon them. This seldom is the case these days. The majority of people on Washington Life's Power 100 have earned their status the hard way. They would be fi rst to admit that a sense of power is in the eyes of the beholder - that projection often is the key to how power is best applied.

This concept was put to use in the renowed list that publisher Bill Regardie established in the latter part of the last century to defi ne the term and its relevance to the Washington scene. Following his lead, our "rules" are essentially the same. Perhaps perversely, we eliminate anyone drawing a government paycheck, cancelling the idea that titles automatically confer prestige. (They may, but empty suits are all too common a sight among posturing strutters in public offi ce.) Another rule is that wealth doesn't necessarily beget power, which means that many hoping for advantage based on inheritance or a talent for acquisitiveness have to prove otherwise. Money is easy; it's power that is hard - hard to get and relatively easy to lose. People such as Steve Case, Rajendra Singh, undoubtedly have plenty in the bank to play with, but that doesn't entirely account for their power. Infl uence is what makes the difference.

High tech, information and security businesses have exploded, increasing the visibility of powerful leaders in these fi elds. Rule number three: power is the ability to make others do what you want them to do, to make things happen - like win huge government contracts. Rule number four: the impact of infl uence is relative - a top lobbyist in Maryland in the long run can be just as powerful as a name brand on Capital Hill.

Rule number fi ve: Knowledge and ideas are powerful. The idea and education industries, once overlooked, are partners in the boom. Consider, too, how big names in journalism who command attention, say a Tim Russert or a Maureen Dowd, now have to make room for bloggers of all kinds. But, for media personalities, the standard remains the same: are they newsmakers or merely reporting news? Thinktank heads like Strobe Talbott in his new guise are not to be discounted either. Power in the 21st century has become more diffused as the sphere of communications has grown and changed. There are now more avenues in which to extend infl uence.

Rule six: Access to decision-makers still carries weight, as Ed Gillespie and Tom Boggs illustrate. But knowing who knows whom and how is also a tool in and of itself. Michael Kaiser and Michael Kahn are sure-footed kings in the artistic world, but you can be sure they seldom, if ever, tell all they know about managing major institutions and the temperaments of the renowned.

Final rule: the perception of power is power, whether its a bluff or not. In other words, knowing when to show them or hold them makes all the difference. Washington has become a vast collective of infl uence, unwieldy at times and certainly more powerful than most civic texts bother to teach. The following list of names helps to explain why.

 

 

SANDY AIN
PARTNER, AIN & BANK
Ain remains Washington's top divorce attorney, respected for his honesty and ethics. In the past year, he represented billionaire Steve Rales in his divorce from his wife, Christine. Other clients have included former Maryland First Lady Frances Glendening and Herbert Haft.

JOE L. ALBRITTON
MEDIA MOGUL
Just when you thought he was over the hill after the scandal that forced him to sell his long-time interest in Riggs Bank, the Channel 7/ NewsChannel 8 owner stirred up Capitol Hill waters this year together with son Robert, launching Politico with rising stars like Mike Allen, who they landed after a bidding war with Time magazine and the Washington Post. The Albrittons' deep pockets, keen eye for journalistic talent and grasp of the future of news consumption may very well become a model for the industry.

BOB BARNETT
PARTNER, WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY.
His client list, which has included everyone from Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton to Bob Woodward, Lynne Cheney and Barack Obama, is a virtual "Who's Who" of Washington. Barnett has earned the confi dence of both political parties as a trusted confi dant and skillful lawyer. He's also the go-to guy if you want a plum book deal.

PETER BARRIS
MANAGING GENERAL PARTNER, NEW ENTERPRISE ASSOCIATES
Chances are, if you're doing a deal in Washington, you have to deal with Peter Barris. As the head of the region's top venture capital fi rm, he is the man to turn to for the big transactions.

ROBERT "BOB" BENNETT
PARTNER, SKADDEN, ARPS, SLATE, MEAGHER & FLOM LLP
This former homicide trial prosecutor has been front and center in many important political imbroglios in Washington. He has represented two former secretaries of defense, one Democrat (Clark Clifford) and one Republican (the ultimately pardoned Caspar Weinberger) plus Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky affair and Judith Miller in the Scooter Libby CIA leak case.

WOLF BLITZER
HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM "
Everyone said it couldn't be done, but in a world of increasingly short attention spans, he's hosting three hours of programming a day. Blitzer's sharp command of "The Situation Room" has set a standard for live reporting. With a big ratings win in March, CNN is thrilled with his leadership of their fl agship news program.

THOMAS HALE BOGGS, JR
PARTNER, HALE & BOGGS
Often labeled "King of the Hill," most still view Tommy Boggs as the "King of K Street." Despite a mass exodus of associates, his fi rm boasts the highest receipts of any other lobbying fi rm, and includes clients ranging from large corporations to large nations. Through the fi rm's foundation, Boggs mentors many protégés, including several from his alma mater, Georgetown University.

JULIAN BOND
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, NAACP
Bond's role is particularly critical in the wake of the Imus debacle and other controversies. An outspoken critic of the Republican Party, he is not afraid to speak his mind with over 150,000 members and millions more listening.

DAVID and KATHERINE BRADLEY
CHAIRMAN, ATLANTIC MEDIA AND CHAIRWOMAN AND PRESIDENT, CITYBRIDGE FOUNDATION
This power couple sets the gold standard; while he heads up his media conglomerate with some of the sharpest and noteworthy journalistic talent on the planet, she runs their family foundation, which is making a "huge investment in early childhood programs." Smart, sincere and generous, these philanthropic brainiacs have a knack for mentoring promising young people through their participation with the Seed School and ServiceCorps as well as international medical projects from the Philippines to South Africa.

STEVE and JEAN CASE
CHAIRMAN AND CEO. REVOLUTION AND CHAIRWOMAN AND CEO OF CASE FOUNDATION
Since leaving AOL, Case has been working to revolutionize the healthcare and wellness industries. Returning to his entrepreneurial roots with Revolution, the holding company that owns Exclusive Resorts, Miraval and Revolution Health, his star power has attracted Carly Fiorina, Donn Davis, John Pleasants and other business giants to his latest projects. Motivated by the early death of his brother Daniel, Case saw how diffi cult it is even for the wealthy to make informed decisions, driving him to commit about $250 million to companies that help patients take a more active role in their treatment. Jean serves on the boards of the Smithsonian and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure and as The Case Foundation CEO, she leverages her two decades of business expertise to create support communities for youth and families.

NICHOLAS CHABRAJA
CEO, GENERAL DYNAMICS
Whether you support the Iraq war or not, this much is true: it's making Chabraja a very wealthy man. His Falls Church-based company employs roughly 81,000 and is one of the largest defense contractors in the world.

HOWARD DEAN
CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL PARTY
Known for taking an early lead in the 2004 presidential race through his grassroots/Internet fundraising, Dean has taken this same controversial and outspoken approach as chair of the leadership party. Since his election, he has raised the most money of any DNC chairman in a similar post election period. In his fi rst six months he raised roughly $86.3 million, and as 2008 heats up, so will the dollars.

JOHN J. "JACK" DEGIOIA
PRESIDENT, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
As titular head of the Hoyas, DeGioia has been inspiring students ever since his days as a dorm director 25 years ago. A Ph. D. in Philosophy and the fi rst non-Jesuit "scholar without a collar" president, he has continued to propel Washington's top university into the major leagues.

PLACIDO DOMINGO
GENERAL DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA
At 50, the Opera has never looked - and sounded - so good, and it's got Domingo and his fundraising ability to thank for that. In 2007, this world-famous Spanish operatic tenor is helping to stage the American version of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungen, the largest production ever undertaken by the company.

MAUREEN DOWD
COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Some people had fi gured MoDo's best columns were behind her, but she returned with a vengeance this year by exposing a deep rift between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Hollywood mogul David Geffen, who now supports Barack Obama. With a weakened Bush administration, this scribe's pen has taken on a new life as she portrays politics as tragic theater.

LEONARD DOWNIE, JR.
EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST
Some argue that after the president, Len Downie is the most powerful man in Washington. Through his able leadership, The Washington Post has solidifi ed itself as one of the most infl uential papers in the world.

KEN DUBERSTEIN
PRESIDENT, DUBERSTEIN GROUP
After serving as chief of staff to President Reagan, Duberstein has positioned himself as a trusted bipartisan lobbyist who gets things done. He remains a key adviser to both the Bush administration and Congressional leadership (a rare feat in this town), with clients that include giants GM and Comcast. His many board positions include the Kennedy Center and the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

CRAIG DUBOW
CEO, GANNETT
Howard Stern may have proclaimed himself the "King of All Media," but Craig Dubow has him beat. Gannett is the USA's largest newspaper group in terms of circulation: 90 daily newspapers with a combined daily paid circulation of approximately 7.3 million.

Another rule is that wealth doesn't necessarily beget power, which means that many hoping for advantage based on inheritance or a talent for acquisitiveness have to prove otherwise. Money is easy; it's power that is hard ...

RICHARD FAIRBANK
CEO, CAPITAL ONE
With $56.6 million to take home last year, Fairbank is one of the highest paid CEOs in the region and worth every cent. He's grown Capital One into a Fortune 200 company and became involved with ownership of the Capitals and Wizards as well.

FRANK FAHRENKOPHF JR.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, AMERICAN GAMING ASSOCIATION
This former Republican Party chairman may already be the one responsible for the thousands of online gaming addicts by successfully lobbying to legalize Internet gambling. Now he's pushing the envelope further by promoting legislation that would allow sites to operate in the U.S. instead of offshore and enable players to gamble on their television sets.

KEN FEINBERG and MICHAEL SONNENREICH
PRESIDENTS, PRESENT AND PAST, WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA
As head of the Feinberg Group, one of the country's leading mediation fi rms, Ken is considered by American Lawyer magazine to be one of America's top ten attorneys. Moreover, his management of the 9/11 victims compensation fund won praise from even some of the toughest critics. Likewise, consummate Washington power player and Pharmatrak CEO Michael Sonnenreich had the good judgment and wisdom to recruit and groom Feinberg as his replacement after Sonnenreich's own highly successful tenure as president of the WNO. Given the record-breaking funds that Sonnenreich raised, those shoes won't be easy to fi ll. Fortunately for Opera fans, the two work well together.

RAUL FERNANDEZ
PRESIDENT, OBJECT VIDEO
Though he founded Proxicom during the `90s boom, he's not just another high-tech guy with a lot of money. Together with fellow tech moguls Mario Morino and former Governor Mark Warner he cofounded Venture Philanthropy Partners (see WL May 2006), an organization that is revolutionizing philanthropic giving in the National Capital Region by combining traditional philanthropic methods with lessons learned from venture capital, private equity and high tech leadership experiences. He contributes generously to CharityWorks and is chairing its 100 Point Wine Dinner, which has become one of Washington's annual power events thanks to his collaboration with Leah Gansler and VPP colleagues such as former AOL-er Jack Davies. Oh, and by the way ... his latest tech venture looks like a winner too.

P. WESLEY FOSTER, JR.
CHAIRMAN AND CEO, LONG & FOSTER COMPANIES
The company Wes founded in 1968 remains the largest real estate company in the Mid-Atlantic region and is the largest privately owned real estate fi rm in the country. In addition to his residential real estate empire, Foster has built a conglomerate of related fi nancial lending institutions and title and insurance companies. With the recent acquisition of Michael Seay's W.C. & A. N. Miller, the exclusive regional affi liate of Christie's Great Estates, he now has the most listings in the region. In short, Foster is real estate royalty.

HOWARD FRIEDMAN
AIPAC PRESIDENT
The New York Times almost put it correctly when they referred to AIPAC as "the most important organization affecting America's relationship with Israel" - they should have said, "Israel as well as the Middle East." As the new president of the steadily growing, 100,000-member grass roots movement, Friedman has Congress's ear.

THOMAS FRIEDMAN
COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES
If you're confused about the crazy state of global affairs, fear not: Thomas Friedman is here to help. He has carved out his career by making complicated issues accessible and suggesting solutions that make every Times reader say, "Why didn't I think of that fi rst?" In addition, his best-selling book, The World Is Flat recently surpassed 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list.

 

Don Graham, Maureen Dowd, Wolf Blitzer, Sandy Ain, Ken Feinberg and Howard Dean
From left to right: Don Graham, Maureen Dowd, Wolf Blitzer, Sandy Ain, Ken Feinberg and Howard Dean

 

ED GILLESPIE
PARTNER, QUINN & GILLESPIE
Anyone who's considering a GOP bid for '08 has consulted this former RNC chairman and Republican power lobbyist. Word is that Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich have both recently sought Gillespie's support and counsel. With his Democratic cofounding partner Jack Quinn, they mentored such rising K Street stars as Adam Falkoff, who heads their international practice.

NEWT GINGRICH
SENIOR FELLOW, AEI
Controversy notwithstanding, he is one of the most imaginative and infl uential thinkers in Washington. Surprise! He recently agreed with Hillary on health care and a seemingly amazed John Kerry on climate change at what was billed as the next Lincoln-Douglas debate. Hard to pigeonhole but ... conservation is conservative, after all.

DAN GLICKMAN
CHAIRMAN, MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
This former Kansas congressman and secretary of agriculture proves that in Washington there is room for sequels. The force behind the popular milk, beef and pork ads, Glickman brought the same enthusiasm to the MPAA and successfully created campaigns to prevent piracy and encourage attendance in movie theaters.

DONALD GRAHAM
CHAIRMAN, THE WASHINGTON POST COMPANY
The newspaper industry has seen better days, but Graham remains committed to maintaining the Post's reputation as a premier news product. Under his stewardship, The Washington Post Company has maneuvered nicely to accommodate the growing online news audience while expanding its political coverage in a town that simply just can't get enough.

GILBERT GROSVENOR
CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
After joining the staff of National Geographic as a picture editor, Grosvenor worked his way up to being the fi fth in his family lineage to serve as the Society's president. He also is a member of the board of visitors of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, and chairman emeritus of the foundation board of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf. Chris Johns leads an editorial team that produces approximately ten million English language magazine's a month as well as 32 international foreign language editions, inevitably infl uencing the world's vision of itself.

JOHN T. "TIL" HAZEL
PARTNER, REED, SMITH, HAZEL & THOMAS
Year after year, Til Hazel is the man to see in Northern Virginia. Known for being well connected in the planning and zoning branches of the local government, Hazel and his son Johnny are a part of many lucrative development projects.

JOHN HENDRICKS
FOUNDER, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS
Despite a rocky executive shake up, Discovery still remains one of the largest worldwide media companies. Though he only controls two percent of the stock, Hendricks still has a lot of pull and helped bring over new CEO David Zaslav from NBC.

MICHAEL HARRELD
REGIONAL PRESIDENT, PNC BANK
After a challenging merger with Riggs Bank, Herrald restored employee morale and successfully cemented the deal, marrying the two banks. PNC started 2007 the same way they rang in 2006, with a 30 percent increase in business. In addition, with wife Susan, they are active in numerous civic organizations and are spreading the wealth.

CATHERINE HUGHES
CHAIRPERSON, RADIO ONE
Known for spinning straw into gold, Hughes started out in the radio business when she had no budget to hire on-air talent for her show. Slowly squirreling away profi ts and acquiring local radio stations, she went on to become CEO, grow the company, take it public, and walk away with over $300 million.

WALTER ISAACSON
PRESIDENT AND CEO, ASPEN INSTITUTE
A successful journalist with stints as chairman of CNN and managing editor of Time magazine, Isaacson has taken his passion and intellectual curiosity to the Aspen Institute, where Washington's biggest corporate and political names go to ponder the meaning of the world. Whether hosting dinners in Colorado or Washington, Isaacson can be seen huddling with major power players such as Henry Kissinger, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, to name just a few.

BOB JOHNSON
ENTREPRENEUR
Many thought after Bob Johnson stepped down as chairman of BET and purchased the Charlotte Bobcats, he would say adios to Washington. But with recent investments such as a restaurant with Café Milano owner Franco Nuschese, he appears to be here to stay. His Kennedy Center Honors pre-party, where he hosted a who's who of Washington with Smokey Robinson dancing on his living room fl oor, proves he has celebrity power - a rare commodity in this town.

JAMES "JIM" JOHNSON
VICE CHAIRMAN OF PERSEUS LLC.
The Ultimate Washington Insider. Married to Maxine Isaacs, a power in her own right, he has served on a trio of Washington power boards: Brookings, the Kennedy Center and Fannie Mae. Scandals notwithstanding, he is a true power broker with friends on every board from Goldman Sachs to Target Corporation, and he is a member of the American Friends of Bilderberg, the Council on Foreign Relations, and The Trilateral Commission. Ran the VP selection for Kerry in '04. As another insider commented, "One of two guys I'd jump highest and fastest for ..."

JOEL JOHNSON
PARTNER, GLOVER PARK GROUP
One of the most respected infl uencers/ legislative strategists in town. Worked at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Guides corporations, major foundations and foreign countries on their legislative strategy at the fi rm founded by three high profi le Democrats (veteran ad man Carter Eskew, former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhardt and former Clinton White House vet and senior adviser to Al Gore, Mike Feldman). The three started the company when they were out of political power and during a recession in 2001 (not exactly an intuitive business plan). A testament to their collective savvy, they attracted top talent like Johnson and have grown into a powerhouse communications, media and advertising franchise with headquarters in Washington and offi ces in New York and Los Angeles.

SANDY JOHNSON
WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Russerts and Matthewses and Blitzers of the world may get all the fame and glory, but the Associated Press' national coverage continues to be the backbone of America's news operation. Every news organization knows it: AP usually has the story fi rst and Johnson makes sure they get it right.

SHEILA JOHNSON
CEO, MARKET SALAMANDER AND PHILANTHROPIST
When Johnson retreated to Middleburg and got married, many thought she would slow down with her BET fortunes. But her infl uence continues to grow as she builds a fi vestar inn, expands her Market Salamander business and roots for her sports teams - the Mystics, Wizards and Capitals - in which she has signifi cant stakes. She also serves on the boards of several non-profi ts and follows through on her commitments.

VERNON JORDAN
PARTNER, AKIN GUMP STRAUSS, HAUER & FELD AND SENIOR, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LAZARD, FRERES & CO.
Jordan sits on perhaps more corporate boards than any one else in the country and he's remained an active player here and in New York. He's a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2006 was a member of the Iraq Study Group.

MICHAEL KAHN
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY
Chances are when a serious actor comes into town, it's Khan's doing. Under his leadership, the Shakespeare Theatre Company has helped attract such sparklers as Kevin Spacey and Dame Judy Dench, which explains its reputation as a world famous drama center.

MICHAEL KAISER
PRESIDENT, THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Everyone gushes about how much they like working with this imaginative impresario. Kaiser certainly draws a crowd and proves it each year with the annual Kennedy Center Honors Weekend, which under the creative vision of George Stevens, Jr. annually showers the town in glitterati. Not only is he able to draw world class performing artists, he was also able to persuade New York fi nancial guru Stephen Schwartzman to head up the board.

RON KAUFMAN
CHAIRMAN, DUTKO WORLDWIDE
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney shocked voters when he raised a staggering $24 million for his campaign, and Kaufman was at the front of the operations. In addition, he built Dutko as the only fi rm in Washington capable of offering clients a 50 state public affairs strategy.

JIM KIMSEY
PHILANTHROPIST and INVESTOR
Some are quick to underestimate the West Point grad, proud Vietnam vet and former AOL chairman (and perhaps the only man Steve Case has ever worked for). But since leaving his post, he's been applying his energy and determination to several boards including the Kennedy Center, Georgetown University and Venture Philanthropy Partners. From his offi ce perch overlooking the White House, he directs his investment and foundation activities and is making great efforts to reform the D.C. public school system.

BOBBIE KILBERG
PRESIDENT, NORTHERN VIRGINIA, TECH COUNSEL
Considered one of the most powerful women in technology today, Kilberg presides over the nation's largest technology council, boasting 1,110 companies and 188,000 employees in Northern Virginia.

ANDREW KOHUT
DIRECTOR, PEW RESEARCH CENTER
There isn't a day that goes by that Pew Research Center's studies are not mentioned in the media. Kohut not only helps formulate public opinion on everything from current issues to voting trends but also gives valuable interpretation of data which is very infl uential in the press.

ROBERT KOGOD
PHILANTHROPIST
He's worth over half a billion dollars, and this former Charles E. Smith CEO seemingly can't give away his money fast enough. He donated $25 million to the Smithsonian Patent Offi ce and has myriad buildings named after him (Kogod Center for the Arts at Sidwell Friends, Kogod Mayo Clinic Program on Aging and the Kogod Theatre at the University of Maryland-College Park).

ROBERT KRUGHOFF
PRESIDENT, CONSUMERS, CHECKBOOK/CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF SERVICES
Smart shoppers know that for the best advice on how to fi nd a plumber, a doctor or insurance company, they turn to Krughoff 's notfor- profi t publication, the Consumers' Checkbook. Through the years the magazine has earned public respect and changed the service industry.

BRIAN LAMB
CEO, C-SPAN
Quiet and humble, Lamb has helped turn C-SPAN from staid to seriously enthralling. Over the past few years, he's pushed Congress to allow C-SPAN cameras greater access to the legislative process. In a town where shouting too often stands for substance, his "Q&A" interviews remain some of the most insightful and reasoned around.

JIM LANGDON, JR.
PARTNER, AKIN, GUMP, STRAUSS, HAUER & FELD
Notwithstanding controversy surrounding his representation of oil producing nations while serving on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Committee, Langdon, a Camp David sleep over guest, derives his infl uence from being known as "one of President Bush's closest friends in Washington." He currently heads the energy practice at the fi rm made famous by the legendary Bob Strauss. With legal talent like Joel Jankowski on board, its infl uence continues to grow.

WAYNE LAPIERRE
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION
The NRA has always had its power platform on the Hill, but in the wake of the tragic Virginia Tech massacre, gun control is likely to remain a controversial issue. LaPierre, an outspoken and infl uential Republican, will be at the forefront of the debate.

DEBRA LEE
CHAIRMAN, BLACK ENTERTAINMENT, TELEVISION
Lee proves that hard work pay off. This Harvard Law School grad has slowly but steadily advanced within BET and currently sits atop one of the most powerful mediums for African-Americans.

JIM LEHRER
ANCHOR, PBS
News anchors come and go, but Lehrer proves that the best things come to those who wait. He's been at the helm of PBS's signature evening newscast for over 30 years; and, as the only national news anchor based in Washington, he is the Walter Cronkite of his generation. Consistently at the top of everyone's list when it comes time to pick a presidential debate moderator, he's sure to make news again in the upcoming presidential sweepstakes.

TED LEONSIS
ENTREPRENEUR
The former vicechairman of AOL has developed into Washington's renaissance man, effortlessly segueing from tech visionary to sports franchise owner (Washington Wizards) to philanthropist to fi lmmaker. His latest endevour is a documentary fi lm he was inspired to make after unearthing the history of a brutal Japanese invasion of China during WW II. The Rape of Nanking earned him a spot at this year's Sundance Film Festival and ultimately an award. What's next Ted ... a fl ight to the moon?

TED LERNER
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER & PRINCIPAL OWNER OF THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Owner of one of the largest real estate portfolios in the country. Managed to quietly acquire the Washington Nationals baseball franchise with his son Mark and sonsin- law Robert Tanenbaum and Edward Cohen. As the National's universe grows, Lerner's star will continue to rise.

TONY LEWIS
PRESIDENT, VERIZON
As one of the leading employers in the region, Lewis has implemented a program where his employees may volunteer hours for charitable activities while on the company payroll. Verizon's foundation matches the hours and gives millions of dollars to deserving area non-profi ts.

J. W. MARRIOTT
CHAIRMAN, MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
In an age of faceless conglomerates, J.W. Marriott remains the man behind the $14 billion-dollarplus hotel empire. He has no intention of slowing down its growth, acquiring properties such as the Ritz Carlton and expanding its portfolio to include residences. Marriott is also known for keeping a friendly and dynamic work environment, which attracts superior talent such as former television anchor Kathleen Matthews, who now serves as the conglomerate's executive vice president of communications.

JOHN MARS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS, MARS INC
With over $10 billion in assets, this candy man was recently ranked the 21st richest American. Though he's recently stepped out of his leadership role at the family business, he remains active in operations. With his equally wealthy brother Forest Jr. and sister Jacqueline, the family exerts infl uence by discreetly giving to a range of organizations from the arts to children's issues, and they have a strong presence in the Washington National Opera.

CHRIS MATTHEWS
HOST, MSNBC'S "HARDBALL"
Sure, he's a bit loud and loves to interrupt, but Matthews still brings a deep understanding of history, insider knowledge and wit to "Hardball." With the 2008 presidential campaign heating up, expect his insight to shape public attitudes towards candidates. Is a "Meet the Press" gig in the works if Tim Russert ever steps down? Stay tuned ...

TERRY MCAULIFFE
POLITICAL STRATEGIST
He's still a powerhouse and probably the most prodigious fundraiser the Democratic party has ever seen. If Hillary wins the election, he'll have his pick of political jobs. If she loses, he'll make a lot of money.

ALLEN MURTON
PRESIDENT, GEORGE MASON, UNIVERSITY
Under his tenure, GMU is Virginia's fastest growing university, with 29,000 currently enrolled. Murton's leadership shows that the school's Cinderella run in the 2007 NCAA Basketball Tournament wasn't a fl uke. He steadily cultivates the nation's best talent in all fi elds. For example, regional economic guru Stephen Fuller is paying dividends. It also doesn't hurt that he helped land $10 million dollars from SRA.com's Ernst Volgenau, the school's largest donation ever.

TONY NICELY
CHAIRMAN, GEICO
The gecko has become as familiar an animal to some Americans as Garfi eld. Who knew that a well-understood spokeslizard would catapult GEICO into an insurance giant, and increase the company's advertising budget strategically, resulting in an enormous payoff?

BILL NOVELLI
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED PERSONS
As boomers age rapidly and in great numbers, the AARP may well become one of the most powerful forces on the planet; Novelli has made it his mission to explore the economic changes in social security and prioritize the continued well-being of millions of American senior citizens.

JOEL OXLEY
GENERAL MANAGER, WTOP
Everyone told Oxley that he couldn't move the beloved WTOP (which was tapped out at $20 million in revenue based on audience size) from AM to FM airwaves. He didn't listen and doubled WTOP's take with the switch. Now everyone thinks he's a genius.

RICHARD PERLE
RESIDENT FELLOW, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE
First rose to prominence as President Reagan's "Dr. Death." From neutron bomb advocate while assistant secretary of defense to leader of the innocuous sounding neo-con Project for the New American Century, this architect of the Iraq invasion never fails to get conversation started. Perhaps stubborn, perhaps wrong, the former Defense Policy Advisory Committee member is credited by some for blunt and original thinking and considered by others to be a masquerading Mossad agent or the mysterious Svengali behind George W. Bush. Next stop Iran?

MILTON PETERSON
CHAIRMAN, THE PETERSON COMPANIES
Peterson took a $2 billion gamble on the development of Washington Harbor, which paid off. Peterson Companies is one of the largest, private-owned development operations in the region.

JIM PITTS
PARTNER, DC NAVIGATORS
Frequently named as one of the top lobbyists by The Hill newspaper for his ties to the energy and fi nancial worlds. His largest clients include the Indian gaming industry. He's strategically been backing both Romney and McCain while fi rming his position in the RNC. His role as deputy publisher of The Weekly Standard allows him to shape political opinion.

JOHN PODESTA and TONY PODESTA
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS AND PRESIDENT, PODESTA GROUP
The fourth and fi nal White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, John Podesta currently presides over a progressive organization dubbed "a think tank on steroids." Brother Tony has major corporations and non-profi ts lining up for lobbying help. He also helped with major Democratic wins in the last election.

ABE POLLIN
CHAIRMAN, VERIZON CENTER
It turns out that Pollin's heart is as big as his wallet. Not only is he one of Washington's most infl uential businessmen, but he and his wife Irene also started the Sister to Sister organization to raise awareness about women's heart disease. Pollin's political savvy also helped him score $50 million from the city to renovate the Verizon Center.

DOUG PORETZ
FOUNDING PARTNER, QORVIS COMMUNICATIONS
As the P.R. fi rm he founded with Michael Petruzzello - the second fastest growing in the country - continues to add such clients as Saudi Arabia and Halliburton, Poretz has become an advocate for Northern Virginia, with the digits of most area power players programmed on his cell phone. Strategic hires like media maven Chuck Conconi (who knows everyone in town) expand his reach.

COLIN POWELL
CHAIRMAN, AMERICA'S PROMISE
The former Secretary of State hasn't retreated into retirement (as he promised) but instead spoke out against the administration which he once served, winning the respect of disgruntled Republicans and Democrats alike. He is, however, making good on a promise to help America's troubled youth through the foundation he chairs.

 

Jim Johnson, Chris Matthews, Raul Fernandez, Jim Lehrer, Sheila Johnson, Til Hazel and Michael Kaiser
From left to right: Jim Johnson, Chris Matthews, Raul Fernandez, Jim Lehrer, Sheila Johnson, Til Hazel and Michael Kaiser

 

STEVEN AND MITCHELL RALES
CHAIRMAN, AND CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DANHER
After running their private equity fi rm together for over two decades, these billionaire brothers know how to infl uence the business world one widget at a time. While much of industrial America has fl own south, these respected businessmen have acquired seemingly defunct companies and turned them into some of the most egalitarian and profi table concerns on the planet, regularly outpacing even the likes of Warren Buffet.

DAVID REHR
PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS
Taking the helm in 2005 as NAB president, Rehr hit the ground running and visited as many station groups and individual broadcasters as possible. He has a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University, and he has been named a "Top Association Lobbyist" by The Hill multiple times.

HARRY RHOADS and BERNIE SWAIN
FOUNDERS, WASHINGTON SPEAKERS BUREAU
Rhoads and Swain promise that their carefully culled speakers are, quite simply, the most intriguing people on the planet. Founded in 1979, the Washington Speakers Bureau has become the world's number one lecture agency and has revolutionized the industry by setting the standard for commitment, trust and care. If you want a speaking gig ... these are the go to people.

STEVE RICHETTI
PRINCIPAL RICHETTI, INC.
Respected on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue and, as the Democrats ascend, so will Richetti's cachet. A true legislative strategist, he directs clients on the right moves because he understands the legislative and regulatory outcomes. He's also co-chairman for the Coalition for America's Priorities.

JOE ROBERT
CEO, J. E. ROBERT COMPANIES
Good luck trying to guess Robert's net worth (most eyes don't see that far), but his footprint on the real estate market is real and notable. As CEO of one of the world's largest private real estate investment and fi nance companies, he has his hands in projects as far away as South America, Russia and Europe. But as he razes buildings, he also raises hopes and hearts: his charity, Fight for Children, has given away almost $490 million, and he personally has donated $50 million to this cause.

DAVID RUBENSTEIN
MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE CARLYLE GROUP
Rubenstein founded the Carlyle Group with Bill Conway Jr. and Daniel Daniello and, in the process, became billionaires, who built a roster of associates - including George H.W. Bush, Frank Carlucci and Ed Mathias - that would make the 1927 New York Yankees look like minor leaguers.

TIM RUSSERT
HOST, NBC'S "MEET THE PRESS"
You know you're good when you've won more consecutive championships than the Boston Celtics. With Russert on the mic, "Meet the Press" has been the top news-making Sunday morning talk show for nine straight years. Both he and the program were inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in April, and Russert's pointed questions (bolstered by his vigorous preparation) regularly make MTP the main course in every political junkie's news diet.

ROGER and VICKI SANT
PHILANTHROPISTS
The Sants have given generously to keep the National Zoo, the National Gallery, the Smithsonian and other arts and cultural institutions at the top of the mark, making it their mission to support our way of life in an age where philanthropic families like the Rockefellers are few.

B. F. SAUL, II
CHAIRMAN, CHEVY CHASE BANK
Although "Frank" Saul is best known for banking prowess, he's been quietly building an impressive real estate empire in the region as well. Saul is famous for keeping a low-profi le, so don't expect to see him out and about, unless it's at one of the cultural institutions he and his wife Tricia support so generously.

BRENT SCOWCROFT
PRESIDENT, THE SCOWCROFT GROUP
Born and bred a military man, Scowcroft has served as national security advisor to presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. From 1982 to 1989, he was vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting fi rm. His opposition to the Iraq war and critical Wall Street Journal op/ed have once again put him in the spotlight, but neither have diminished his infl uence. Many of his protégé's are now working at the Treasury, as United States Trade Representatives and even at the White House.

GARY SHAPIRO
CEO, OF CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATION
The little joys in life, like being able to see Jennifer Aniston's pores from space, would not be possible without Shapiro's pioneering assistance in one invention: HDTV. His trade association represents some 2000 consumer electronics companies, and he produces and owns the continent's largest annual trade show, the International CESÒ.

SUDHAKAR SHENOY
CHAIRMAN, IMC.INC.
"Executive of the Year" and "One of the Most Infl uential People In Washington" are just a few of the titles bestowed upon the chairman of this technology solutions company. Shenoy led IMC to the prestigious Golden Hammer Award given by the vice president. He remains politically active, is cochair of the Indian American Republican Council, and serves on almost every technology board located in Northern Virginia.

GREAT EMINENCES WL
tips its hat to some powerful leaders who paved the way:

  • Madeleine Albright
  • Clifford Alexander
  • James Baker
  • Letitia Baldrige
  • Arnaud de Borchgrave
  • David Broder
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • Gerald Cassidy
  • Robert Dole
  • Joseph Duffey and Ann Wexler
  • Marian Wright Edelman
  • David Gergen
  • Lee Hamilton
  • Lloyd Hand
  • Austin Kiplinger
  • Paul Laxalt
  • Fred Malek
  • Chuck Manatt
  • Cardinal Theodore McCarrick
  • George Mitchell
  • Sandra Day O''Connor
  • Thomas Pickering
  • Diane Rehm
  • Warren Rudman
  • Bob Schieffer
  • George Stevens Jr.
  • Robert S. Strauss
  • Russell and Aileen Train
  • Jack Valenti
  • William H. Webster
  • James Wolfensohn

 

TOM SIETSEMA
FOOD CRITIC, THE WASHINGTON POST
As Washington's restaurant scene continues to burgeon, Sietsema's reviews can make or break an establishment. Still, he's managed to maintain the respect of the food industry while simultaneously making quality dining understandable to the masses.

RAJENDRA SINGH
CHAIRMAN, TELECOM VENTURES
This billionaire has become a major player in the telecom community and helped launch Teligent, LCC International and XM Satellite holdings, Inc.

DAN SNYDER
CHAIRMAN, WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Okay, so maybe they don't make the playoffs as much as we'd like. But, thanks to his leadership, the Redskins continue to be one of the largest - and most profi table - franchises in the NFL. Snyder's star power attracts the likes of Tom Cruise, Alan Greenspan and Colin Powell to the owner's box come game day.

JOE SOLMONESE
PRESIDENT, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
The HRC is the largest gay equal rights organization in the U.S., with over 600,000 members. Solmonese has successfully challenged work benefi t policies that favored heterosexual married couples and is a powerful young advocate in the gay community's struggle for equal rights.

ANDREW STERN
PRESIDENT, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION SEIU
Dubbing him "a different kind of labor chief," The New York Times Magazine described Stern as a man who "intends to create a new, more dynamic" labor movement. Andy Stern heads one of the fastest growing labor unions, gaining power in the labor movement as our economy shifts from a manufacturing to a service base.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
HOST, ABC'S "THIS WEEK"
Not everyone thought the former Clinton aide could make the transition from politics to journalism, but he has convinced even the naysayers that he's got the chops to serve up a great Sunday talk show. Famous for his work ethic, he has made "This Week" a news makers show and the proof is in the ratings.

BRENDAN SULLIVAN JR.
PARTNER, WILLIAMS & CONOLLY
If you're facing jail time or crunch time, he's your man. The legendary scorched-earth trial attorney once told the Senate "I'm not a potted plant" while testifying on behalf of Oliver North. Has represented everyone from former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and Major League Baseball's Fay Vincent to late Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke's widow Marlena.

STROBE TALBOTT
PRESIDENT, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
A Bill Clinton confederate and fellow Rhodes Scholar, Talbott heads one of the most prominent think tanks in the U.S. Its studies are the third most-cited by members of Congress, behind only the Heritage Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union.

GEORGE VRADENBURG
PRESIDENT, THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION AND VRADENBURG FOUNDATION
If there's an arts institution in town, Vradenburg is probably involved. This former AOL-Time Warner strategic advisor's commitment to the city's cultural life has left an indelible mark. With his savvy author wife Trish, this power couple has the ability to raise over $2 million in a night for an Alzheimer's charity chapter they started four years ago

CHRIS WALLACE
HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY"
Liberals and centrists love to complain that Fox News isn't "fair and balanced," but hardly anyone doubts Wallace's even-handed approach to journalism and interviews on his increasingly popular Sunday talk show. This past year, he made news by drawing President Clinton's ire and more recently scored an exclusive for Fred Thompson's quasi-presidential announcement.

MARK WARNER
ENTREPRENEUR
Some thought Warner's political days were over when he pulled out of the presidential race, but in reality, Warner has never been more of a political player. There's no shortage of options for this infl uential former Virginian Governor: a possible run for Senate in '08, a more likely vice presidential bid and even another go at governor in '09. This selfmade multi-millionaire has deep pockets to fund his races, and he digs just as deep as a founding member of VPP, which gives to numerous causes.

REG WEAVER
PRESIDENT, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
Second-term NEA president Reg Weaver is considered a "demigod" in his fi eld and has been at the forefront of the No Child Left Behind Act, making sure that those words ring true. The NEA, with over 3.2 million members, is still the nation's largest professional employee organization. With education on voters' minds, look for Weaver to be infl uential in the next presidential election.

RICHARD WILEY
SENIOR PARTNER WILEY REIN & FIELDING
Often cited as the most infl uential lawyer in the communications industry, and the father of High- Defi nition TV, Wiley, a former FCC chairman, heads the fi rm's 80-attorney communications practice representing clients such as Gannett, Viacom and Verizon. The fi rm recently won a $600 million dollar settlement against Research In Motion, putting to rest worries of BlackBerry addicts everywhere.

BOB WOODWARD
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST
Although it's been over 30 years since his reporting helped topple a U.S. president, Woodward still has octopus-like tentacles that reach the deepest and darkest sources in town. He was criticized in recent years for being too chummy with, and soft on, the current administration, but his latest book, State of Denial, proved that Woodward and his hard-working writing staff still have the claws to scare the powerful.

JEFF ZIENTS
INVESTOR
He's earned a slot on Fortune's "40 richest under 40," for his successful rise at the Corporate Executive Board, where he served as chairman. After taking the company public, he walked away with big pockets. Still young, still hungry and often referred to as the Malek of his generation, Zients is successfully plotting his new ventures.

 

John Podesta, Roger and Vicki Sant, Tony Podesta, David Rehr, Reg Weaver, Mitch Rales, Abe Pollin And Chris Wallace
From left to right: John Podesta, Roger and Vicki Sant, Tony Podesta, David Rehr, Reg Weaver, Mitch Rales, Abe Pollin And Chris Wallace



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