12 Who Might Steal the Spotlight in 2007

Here are a dozen faces for you to look out for.

By: Garrett M. Graff

With the New Year comes a new DC mayor, a new Montgomery County executive, a new Maryland governor, a new Virginia senator, a new Congress, and a new House Speaker, just to name a few.

While all will have an impact in 2007, here are a dozen other people poised to do big things:

» Robert Allbritton: The publisher of the soon-to-launch Capitol Leader, which will focus on the Hill and politics, Allbritton has made a splash with his family’s latest media venture by hiring some big names. Can he make his paper stand out in the crowded field of Washington journalism?

» Manny Acta: The new Nationals manager will face his first tests in rebuilding the team into something that can make Washington proud and bring crowds to the new stadium in 2008.

» Greivis Vasquez: The Venezuelan guard came to the University of Maryland barely speaking English but has quickly proved himself on the basketball court. Which comes first: graduation or the NBA?

» Susan Schaeffler: The brains behind KIPP DC, the area’s best-performing charter school, might have a model for how to reform education.

» Paul Reagan: This lobbyist and veteran of Jim Moran’s and Mark Warner’s staffs might have just landed the toughest job on Capitol Hill—Jim Webb’s new chief of staff. Can he restrain his boss from slugging the President?

» Patti Solis Doyle: Waiting in the wings to step in as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign manager, this sixth child of Mexican immigrants will be behind every one of the campaign’s decisions.

» John Catoe: Even with the generous new salary ($300,000+), the incoming head of Metro has many challenges: the Purple Line, the Tysons line, more buses, aging infrastructure, and a rate hike.

» Eric Schaeffer: The artistic director of Signature Theatre will be center stage as he moves into his new Shirlington venue.

» Liz Spayd: The former head of national news at the Washington Post is moving over to the paper’s dot-com side—will she forge a path to a profitable future?

» Brett Haber at Channel 9, Tim Brant at Channel 7, and Dave Feldman at Channel 5: With area legend George Michael leaving Channel 4 in March, there’ll be big shoes to fill and a big sports audience up for grabs.

» Ron Klain: The former top aide to Al Gore is now at the right hand of Steve Case as he launches his new venture, Revolution LLC.

» Paul Clement: The US Solicitor General is sure to be at the center of battles between a Democratic Congress and the Republican White House—but he’ll have to stay friendly if he wants to land a top federal judgeship and make it through Senate confirmation.