Executive vice president for global public policy at Time Warner. Started out at the company, jumped to Viacom as its top lobbyist for eight years, then returned to TW. She’s also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Senior vice president for external affairs at Pepco. Is former chairman of the Washington Convention Center Authority.
Funder, Heather Podesta & Partners. Is a policy wonk with a flair for fund-raising—and her Obama connections guarantee her a seat at most tables.
Founder and CEO of Rand Construction Corporation and chairman of the Federal City Council. Is former chair of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and one of the most powerful women in the business community.
President of the University of Maryland University College. Is a pioneer in distance learning. Among the awards UMUC has racked up, its online MBA program won the Instructional Technology Council’s 2010 award for Outstanding eLearning Program.
Charlene M. Dukes
President, Prince George’s Community College. The first woman to head PGCC, Dukes also serves on the Maryland State Board of Education.
Jessica P. Einhorn
Dean, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. The first SAIS graduate to serve as its dean, Einhorn oversaw SAIS’s first master’s program in international studies in China. She’ll step down in June.
Chancellor of DC public schools. Has kept up the momentum of school reform without Michelle Rhee’s inflammatory rhetoric.
President of Trinity University. Has grown the school from a small Catholic women’s college into an innovative higher-education system for students of all ages and backgrounds. McGuire has considerable clout in the business community, too.
President of Montgomery College. Took over after several rocky years for MC. She’s counting on new bioscience facilities to offer greater employment opportunities for MC graduates.
Apartner at Arnold & Porter. Heads the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice. She and Patricia Millett of Akin Gump have argued more cases before the high court than any other women in private practice.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Associate justice of the US Supreme Court. May look frail, but she’s a tough questioner and an unwavering anchor for the liberal side of the bench.
Founder and co-president, National Women’s Law Center. One of the godmothers of the women’s movement, she’s still a powerful advocate for employment rights.
Associate justice, US Supreme Court. The newest and youngest justice trod softly in her first term, but the former solicitor general and dean of Harvard Law School will have plenty of time on the top bench to flex her judicial muscles.
Partner at White & Case. in 2009 became the first Washington lawyer to head the American Bar Association since the 1950s. She remains a powerful voice for her profession in policy circles.
Patricia Ann Millett
Partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Co-heads her firm’s appellate practice. A former assistant to the solicitor general, Millett is known as a persuasive writer and an eloquent arguer.
Assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. A former clerk for Supreme Court justice William Brennan, Seitz has filled a powerful post fraught with controversy. This was the office that, in the George W. Bush administration, wrote the opinion justifying the legality of extreme interrogation.
Associate justice, US Supreme Court. Not shy about asking questions, Sotomayor stands up for the liberal view of the criminal-justice system.
Secretary of State
Has more than held her own inside the administration, and her worldwide clout rivals that of her husband, the former President.
Deputy White House chief of staff for policy. Is the Obama administration’s top gun on health and social issues.
Undersecretary of Defense for policy. The number-three in the Defense Department. Both she and the new Secretary, Leon Panetta, have old Clinton-administration ties.
FDA commissioner. Has been in the hot seat as food-borne illnesses have proliferated and the FDA has been pro-active in drug recalls.
Senior adviser to the President. A confidante and consigliere to both Obamas since their early days in Chicago—is the President’s chief emissary to the business community.
Secretary of Homeland Security. Has lost some battles to the intel guys, but she controls lots of budget dollars and federal jobs.
First Lady of the United States. Campaigning against childhood obesity has pitted her against powerful industry groups.
Special assistant and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights at the National Security Council. Power was a strong voice in Obama’s ear in favor of the Libyan attacks.
White House counsel. Moved up from deputy counsel a few months ago; she was one of the youngest members of the legal team that sent the Enron executives to jail.
Mary L. Schapiro
Head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Uncle Sam’s top Wall Street cop has proved tough enough to stand up to the big boys.
Secretary of Health and Human Services. Has had a visible and powerful portfolio with health care front and center on Obama’s agenda.