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.

⬆︎ 41. Ayanna Pressley

Boston city councilor at large

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In Boston politics, it’s already assumed that Pressley—brilliant, tough, an electrifying speaker—is destined for bigger things. Last cycle, she was a favorite to run for mayor (but didn’t). Now her horizons are even brighter, with some encouraging her to seek national office.

Read more about Ayanna Pressley.

⬆︎ 42. Katie Lapp

Executive vice president and chief administrative, business, and operating officer, Harvard University

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Lapp is overseeing Harvard’s ambitious 10-year development plan in Allston, and having joined Governor Baker’s MBTA advisory panel, she’ll help determine Boston’s transportation future as well.

➡︎ 43. Carol Fulp

President and CEO, the Partnership

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If you’re a black power broker in Boston, you’ve been helped in some way by Fulp. She worked her way up at Gillette, WCVB, and John Hancock, and now sits on prominent corporate and public boards—quietly and powerfully keeping diversity on everyone’s agenda.

➡︎ 44. John Harthorne

CEO and founder, MassChallenge

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Few people have done more to put Boston’s innovation economy on the map. His Boston-based startup accelerator program, the largest in the world, has helped launch more than 600 businesses, and nearly 5,000 new jobs, since its establishment in 2010.

⬆︎ 45. Stan Rosenberg

President, Massachusetts Senate

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After 40 years of relatively anonymous public service, the Amherst state senator maneuvered to succeed Therese Murray as Senate president this year. Suddenly, he’s the guy everybody in the state wants a meeting with.

⬆︎ 46. Eileen McAnneny

President, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation

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Under Michael Widmer, Mass Tax watchdogged the state’s precarious finances for decades. His replacement, McAnneny, a Beacon Hill lobbying veteran, has picked up where he left off: See the foundation’s scathing report on the MBTA.

⬇︎ 47. Jack Connors

Cofounder, Hill Holiday; cofounder, Camp Harbor View

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Connors has forgotten more about power than most people on this list will ever learn. Even in semiretirement, he’s still the go-to guy for raising money in Boston philanthropy.

⬇︎ 48. Ray Hammond

Pastor, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

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Hammond secured his place in Boston history by cofounding the TenPoint Coalition, which helped save the city’s poorest neighborhoods from gang violence throughout the ’90s. His church remains a home to Boston’s black movers and shakers.

➡︎ 49. Anthony Pangaro

Principal, Millennium Partners–Boston

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You rarely hear about this golden boy now that his biggest ally, Tom Menino, is gone. But it’s too soon to forget that the former civil servant was able to leverage his friendship with Menino to jump-start luxury residential construction in Boston.

➡︎ 50. Barbara Lynch

Founder, Barbara Lynch Gruppo

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Her foundation’s second annual Toques & Tonic event was a who’s who of national restaurant glitterati. No one else has that kind of pull—and with Lynch raising major funds each year to aid low-income families in need, she’s clearly devoted to changing the city for the better.


Check out more of our Power 2015 coverage.


  • 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