Jack Dale. The head of schools in Fairfax County—the nation’s 12th-largest district and the region’s biggest.
Jack DeGioia. The president of Georgetown University is expanding the campus and raising its profile abroad.
Edgar Hatrick. Dean of area school superintendents, with 16 years in fast-growing Loudoun.
Charlene Drew Jarvis. A former DC Council member, the Southeastern University head is still politically wired.
Jay Mathews. The Post writer’s Challenge Index rankings pressure high schools to rethink who gets taught what.
Patricia McGuire. Trinity University enrolls kids from every DC public high school. She’s helping lead the college boycott of the U.S. News rankings.
Alan Merten. A maverick among university presidents, he’s aiming to put George Mason among the area’s elite colleges.
Dan Mote. As president, he’s made the University of Maryland a hot school, with a building boom and top-rated honors program.
Michelle Rhee. DC mayor Adrian Fenty’s takeover gave the 37-year-old power seldom seen in public education.
Robert Smith. The Arlington schools chief turned his district into a national model for teaching diverse students.
Bob Templin. His 64,000-student Northern Virginia Community College cranks out much-needed workers for area tech and healthcare companies.
Jerry Weast. The next secretary of Education? The Montgomery schools superintendent has people talking.
Jacqueline Brown. Prince George’s top administrator—once a candidate to run the schools—is executive Jack Johnson’s go-to person.
John Catoe. With only months on the job, Metro’s chief cut payroll and took aim at night-owl trains.
Natwar Gandhi. The District’s CFO rebuilt the city’s finances—and regained Wall Street’s trust.
Anthony Griffin. A Vietnam vet and former Marine, Fairfax’s county exec has logged 33 years in Fairfax, Arlington, and Falls Church government.
Royce Hanson. The land-use expert is doing a second tour as planning-board head in Montgomery. He has the ear—and trust—of the council.
Dale Polen Myers. A former Loudoun supervisor, she’s a political kingmaker for the county’s progrowth candidates.
Dan Tangherlini. His talents taming bureaucracy made him a top candidate last fall to run Metro—but Adrian Fenty grabbed him to be the city’s top administrator.