The 50 Most Powerful Women in Boston

By Alexandra Hall | Boston Magazine |

Mary Bonauto

Director, Gay & Lesbian Adocates & Defenders

Power demo:  Masterminding the landmark Goodridge v. Department of Public Health lawsuit that led to legal same-sex marriage.


Eve Bridburg

Founder, Grub Street

Power demo:  Guiding more than 10,000 writers over the literary center’s 14 years, including everyone from untried hopefuls to award-winning novelists such as Iris Gomez and Randy Susan Meyers.


Andrea Cabral

Sheriff, Suffolk County

Power demo:  It’s old news now that Cabral is the first African-American woman sheriff in state history. She was appointed all the way back in 2002 and has since been elected twice. Over the years Cabral has consolidated her power…and has not been shy about using it outside of her day job running a sheriff’s office with 1,100 or so employees. Last year was especially big for Cabral, who emerged as a strong voice for the reelection of Governor Deval Patrick; was featured as a guest speaker at the conference of the National Organization for Women; and even stood up (at least for a little while) to the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s “staggering lack of communication and respect” by threatening to kick the notorious agency’s detainees out of her jail.  — John Wolfson

Tracy Campion

Founder, Campion and Company

Power demo:  Racking up more than $550 million in high-end real estate sales to Boston’s rich and powerful since 2007.


Sonia Chang-Díaz

State Senator, Second Suffolk District 

Power demo:  Restoring public faith in her Senate seat after her predecessor was convicted of taking thousands in bribes. Chang-Díaz personally addressed more than 8,000 issues from her constituents, sponsored more than a dozen different bills, and won her top legislative priority — the landmark CORI reform that aims to put the brakes  on job discrimination against former criminals — all during her first two years in office.


Robin Chase

Co-Founder Zipcar And GoLoco

Power demo:  Revolutionizing how we navigate urban environments, with both Zipcar and her new online ride-sharing company, GoLoco.


Martha Coakley

Massachusetts Attorney General

Power demo:  Keeping auto insurance low; getting one of the first big settlements from Goldman Sachs; regulating utility costs under Cape Wind. (Okay, so she’s a really bad campaigner.)


Cheryl Cronin

Partner, Cronin & Leonard

Power demo:  Being the go-to legal mind on all matters political and strategic for the highest and mightiest, from Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign to Martha Coakley.


Catherine D’Amato

President/CEO, Greater Boston Food Bank

Power demo:  Lording over the opening of a new 117,000-square-foot facility that feeds close to 545,000 people a year and doles out more than 34 million pounds of food annually.


Anne Finucane

Global Strategy and Marketing Officer/Northeast President, Bank of America

Power demo:  If it seems like Bank of America is taking over the world, it’s Anne Finucane’s job to make it feel like a friendly takeover, with easy access to ATMs and online checking for all. She may have gotten her start at Hill Holliday, but these days she does lots more than just plan advertising strategy — she also oversees B of A’s government affairs and public policy work. She rode herd on the bank’s efforts to pay back its TARP money and is a key contact for Congress and the Obama administration. And just to make sure we locals didn’t forget about her, she was front and center last summer when Ken Burns released his baseball documentary The Tenth Inning, positioning B of A as its primary sponsor. Her husband, Mike Barnicle, had a starring role in the doc, by the way. Did we mention Finucane is powerful?  — Jason Schwartz

  • Lesley

    Doesn’t United States Attorney General trump Massachusetts Attorney General? Where is Carmen Ortiz? You’ve overlooked an amazing woman with an inspirational story of achieving the American dream.

  • Doug

    Not only did you miss Carmen Ortiz but how is first Lady Diane Patrick who is also a partner at Ropes and Gray not on this list?