The 50 Most Powerful People in Boston 2012

THESE KINDS OF RANKINGS typically emphasize traditional power — politics, finance, industry — but we’ve set out here to look beyond the rule makers, to find the rule breakers. That means the players charting new directions for our city. That means people like Rich Miner of Google Ventures (who’s helping to turn the city into Silicon Valley East) and Ralph de la Torre of Steward Health Care (who’s reinventing the hospital business) ranked right up there with the pols and investors. Mayor Tom Menino, of course, remains the alpha and omega of the city: You can’t put up a building, get elected, or snag the right permit if you’ve crossed him. On the other hand, if you’re in with him, the possibilities are endless. So to save everyone the effort, we’ve simply removed the mayor from consideration. Below, we present the 50 most powerful people in Boston — not named Tom Menino — plus Power Case Studies detailing who you should tap to make things happen in Boston, and additional power coverage through the years.

Rankings: The 50 Most Powerful People in Boston

We list the 50 people who run this town.

The Power Case Studies

Want to get something done in Boston? Here’s who to call, where to go, and how to make it happen.

Who was #51?

We fought over the list from top to bottom. Here’s who just missed the cut.

The Top Restaurants for Boston’s Power Players

Forget smoke-filled rooms: These days, the city’s power brokers meet out in the open. You just need to know where to look.

Boston’s Most Powerful People: Archives

See who’s stayed on the lists, who’s fallen off, and whose star has risen through the years.

Boston’s Power Couples

From sports to politics, some Boston couples just dominate.


Mr. and Mrs. Popularity?

How local politicians stack up in the popularity rankings.


Boston’s Most Powerful People Aren’t Just Like Us

The House and Senate — major corridors of power in Massachusetts — aren’t exactly representative of their constituents.


What Do Boston’s Powerful People Wear?

The must-have clothing and accessories for the modern dealmaker.

Power Players’ Alma Maters

What’s the academic profile of one of Boston’s powerful people?

Photo by Gary Land