The 2009 Power 100

by Editorial


Deepak Bhargava
Executive Director, The Center for Community Change
Organizer-In-Chief: Bhargava may not be the most famous Harvard-educated-former-community organizer in Washington, but as the leader of one of the nation’s largest grass-roots community advocacy groups, he has plenty of influence. Next Up: The CCC is particularly involved in issues facing the poor, so expect to see Bhargava front and center in the upcoming healthcare debates.

Bill Clinton
Former President of the United States; founder, the Clinton Foundation
Domestic Spending: The former President’s Harlem-based NGO will forego foreign donations while Hillary is Sec. of State; but judging from a recent star-studded L.A. fundraiser, the foundation’s coffers won’t suffer greatly.

Cathy Duvall
Political Director, The Sierra Club
A New Day: Now that those in power no longer question the basic validity of global warming, Duvall, a former national campaign director at America Votes, can focus on advocating clean energy solutions. Target Practice: In 2008 the Sierra Club launched its largest-ever grassroots initiative; thousands of volunteers targeted five Senate races, 33 House races, and the presidential election.

Brian Gallagher
President and CEO, United Way of America
Change Agent: Since 2002, Gallagher has dramatically refocused United Way’s national image and significantly raised its accountability. The Road: Gallagher estimates he spends about 70 percent of his time traveling the country to ensure the UW is living up to his standards.

Gail McGovern
President and CEO, American Red Cross
Healer: The former executive at AT&T and Fidelity Investments joined the Red Cross after predecessor Mark Everson was forced to resign. Good Experience: With a $200 million deficit and staff cuts, McGovern will surely be aided by her private sector acumen as she works to restore the mammoth organization back to firm footing.

Bob Greenstein
Founder and Executive Director, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Sage: Greenstein has been called “a powerhouse for the poor,” by the Washington Post, and the think tank he founded has earned praise from both sides of the aisle for its talented staff and dogged advocacy. The Scoop: Insiders say Greenstein had considerable input on Obama’s 2009 budget.

John Podesta
President, The Center for American Progress
Dream Team: As co-chairman of the Obama-Biden Transition, Podesta assembled an unprecedented team that included a number of CAP staffers. Righteous Fury: Podesta recently called for the impeachment of Jay Bybee, the federal judge and former Bush administration official who penned the now public “torture memos.”

John Prendergast
Co-founder, The Enough Project
Saving Darfur: Prendergast’s Enough Project aims to end the genocide in Darfur in part by convincing Obama to add comprehensive peace in Sudan to his list of policy goals. Two at a Time: A former director of African affairs at the National Security Council and special advisor at the Dept. of State, Prendergast has written eight books on Africa and is currently working on two more.

Bruce Riedel
Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Super Spy: This former head of analysis at CIA has advised four U.S. presidents, most recently co-chairing an interagency report on Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Obama White House. Dire Warning: Riedel is on record stating that a failed state in Pakistan would be the “worst nightmare of the century.”

Carter Roberts
President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund
On Message: This environmentalist is an expert in marketing conservation initiatives, having previously worked for The Nature Conservancy and several multimillion dollar companies. Go Green: In March Carter and WWF organized Earth Hour 2009, in which over a billion people in 88 countries turned out their lights and electronics for an hour.

Peter Seligman
Chairman, Conservation International
Earth Watch: CI is one of the largest non-profit groups dedicated to protecting the world’s most threatened wilderness and marine regions. Green Agenda: Seligman has strongly warned President Obama to focus on species extinction, coral reef destruction, over-fishing, and tropical deforestation before a “tipping point” occurs.

Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign
Debate Prep: The leader of one of the nation’s widest-reaching LGBT organizations stands to become significantly more influential as the battle over gay marriage goes national. Showtime: This former CEO of EMILY’s List regularly appears on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report and co-hosts The Agenda on XM Satellite Radio.

Dominique Strauss–Kahn
Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Money Man: The former professor and member of the French Socialist party now directs efforts to rescue the world’s most vulnerable economies with a massive aid package of grants and loans. Après le Deluge: Last year, the IMF board cleared Kahn of allegations of favoritism and abuse of power – just in time for him to focus on the economic crisis.

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