Boston’s 50 Most Powerful People: The List

In Boston’s shifting power economy, some are up, some are down, and some are exactly where they’ve been for decades.

⬆︎ 31. Gloria Larson

President, Bentley University

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Brilliant yet accessible, this former Patrick administration cabinet member transformed Bentley College into a top-tier business university in just eight years. Meanwhile, she’s the gifted collaborator every major board wants on its team.

Read more about Gloria Larson.

⬆︎ 32. Veronica Turner-Biggs

Executive vice president, Local 1199, SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

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Once the SEIU endorses a candidate or supports a law, you can consider it a done deal. That’s in large part because of Turner-Biggs, who’s widely regarded as the toughest labor leader in town.

⬆︎ 33. Tracy Campion/Kevin Ahearn

Principal and owner, Campion and Company/President and owner, Otis & Ahearn

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Campion in the Back Bay and Ahearn downtown have long dictated what luxe living means in the city. No developer would break ground without consulting one of these real estate merchants.

⬆︎ 34. Jeffrey Bussgang

General partner, Flybridge Capital Partners

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Boston’s innovation economy needs more champions, and Bussgang is a good one. When Charlie Baker wiped out his beloved pilot program to attract foreign student entrepreneurs, Bussgang convinced the administration to throw the program a lifeline.

Read more about Jeffrey Bussgang.

➡︎ 35. Bill and Alli Achtmeyer

Chairman and managing partner, the Parthenon Group/ Philanthropist

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Bill has used his wealth to steer Boston’s cultural brands, including the BSO and the MFA. Alli is the consummate committeewoman, enriching nonprofits like UNICEF and MGH, one ball at a time.

⬆︎ 36. Rafael Reif

President, MIT

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Reif presides over an institution that continues to transform Kendall Square into a hub of innovation and expense accounts. And it’s engaging Boston as well, partnering with Boston 2024 and Linda Pizzuti Henry’s upcoming HUBWeek festival.

➡︎ 37. Thomas Glynn

CEO, Massport

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He’s the man who’s bringing Massachusetts to the world, and vice versa. Under Glynn, Boston has gone increasingly global, attracting new nonstop flights to Beijing, Dubai, Istanbul, and Panama. Soon, we’ll add Mexico City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tel Aviv as well.

➡︎ 38. Swanee Hunt

Founder and chair, Hunt Alternatives

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The daughter of an ultra-right Texas oil billionaire, Hunt has spent her life (and fortune) funding progressive causes. Her latest push? Persuading Mayor Walsh to adopt Demand Abolition, an anti-prostitution initiative to prosecute johns rather than sex workers.

⬆︎ 39. Atul Gawande

Professor of surgery, Harvard Medical School

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A gifted surgeon, New Yorker staff writer, and educator, Gawande recently founded Ariadne Labs, a nonprofit that’s making healthcare safer, cheaper, and more accessible for patients, whether they’re at the Brigham or a clinic in India.

Read more about Atul Gawande.

⬇︎ 40. Ralph de la Torre

Chairman and CEO, Steward Health Care System

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He’s leading the largest for-profit community-care organization in New England—17,000 employees, 11 hospitals—and betting on private healthcare. But with the closing of Quincy Hospital last year, many wonder: Is this experiment over?

  • Han

    Stephanie Pollack!!!!?!!! Are you kidding me? Her screwup rate is off the charts! My commute is getting worse with each passing week. Pollack couldn’t explain the $2.2 Billion in the MBTA report, and she’s the TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY!!. I don’t care how powerful her family is, after so many failures, Pollack has to go

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  • T Flabs

    Are you seriously ripping pollack for a budget that she wasnt responsible for? she was appointed the day before it started snowing. Figure it out, clown! All those screw ups are from your moonbat liberal duval and his croney Davies who is no trying to slam the Olympics down our throat. Speaking of Olympics isn’t there supposed to be a rule of law that public officials can’t leave office and work for an entity they worked with while in office… It looks like that law doesn’t apply to the Olympics… Joe Rull, Kate Norton and more all leave their public jobs to go work for an entity they clearly had influence over while in office. Seems fishy to me