Outside influencers make their mark.
Power and influence exist in many forms, but in Washington these days they often boil down to the ability to sway, the wisdom to absorb and/or the skill to successfully push against different aspects of the whirlwind generated by an unpredictable president and an administration whose members are in or out depending on the day.
Our annual list is generally limited to Washingtonians who neither hold elected office nor draw a government salary. This year, we added a handful of current and former, mostly White House, denizens whose altered roles reflect the unique circumstances of the moment. We also opened up the list to include those outside the beltway to reflect the growing influence of money on power.
Trump notwithstanding, there are many people in Washington who make a difference while getting on with their lives, their businesses and their professions: Artists, business owners, philanthropists, a clergyman, a classical music critic who has the power to torpedo a million-dollar opera production with a single review and a leading food critic whose critiques can be counted upon to fill or empty a restaurant practically overnight.
Power can mean money, which can help advance causes and create new enterprises. But power shifts like sand on a beach. Journalists are denigrated by President Donald Trump as the inventors of fake news, but his presidency has boosted the influence of leading media figures, given a new lease on life to newspapers and spiked television news ratings.
Because he came into office as an agent of change, many professional and business communities find themselves making common cause to fight, or at least moderate new administration measures. Trump’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” mobilized battalions of opposition from the health sector. Where groups share such a common objective their key players have been grouped together.
Yes, it’s a subjective list, even a quirky one in places. Because Washington is not hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world, some outside influencers have also been placed on the list. Vladimir Putin is not a Georgetown resident, but with Moscow’s fingerprints all over the 2016 election, he might as well be.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
OUTSIDE INFLUENCERS- ARABS
OUTSIDE INFLUENCERS- RUSSIANS
OUTSIDE INFLUENCERS- CHINESE
OUTSIDE INFLUENCERS- ISRAELIS
OUTSIDE INFLUENCERS- OTHERS
SILICON VALLEY ON THE DEFENSIVE
MEDIA- THE TRUMPETERS
BUSINESS & REAL ESTATE
THE SOCIAL MOVEMENTS #METOO & #NEVERAGAIN