Cabinet chiefs make list of 25 most influential women in Washington

Brendan Smialowski/AP
Washington is a town obsessed with power -- how it is acquired, how it is used, and especially who wields it. In some ways, the answers are intuitive and obvious: by poll, in policy, by the president on down. But as we all know, there is more to the story. The noise of outside advocacy groups, the push and pull of conflicting interests, and the often-invisible impact of money all affect the use of power.

Although Washington is still a long way from gender parity, women are gaining more top positions (in Congress, on the Supreme Court, and in the administration) every year. A lesser-told story is their rise outside D.C. officialdom. Some of Washington’s most influential women, such as Nancy Pelosi, have the renown that accords with their station. But many others -- for example, Sharon Soderstrom, the chief of staff for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, or American Insurance Association President Leigh Ann Pusey -- wield less-visible authority.

So we asked our Political Insiders -- 174 experts from a range of D.C. specialties -- who they think are doing the most to shape this town. From their suggestions, a National Journal panel of reporters and editors compiled a highly unscientific list of 25 of Washington’s most influential women. We left off some obviously important people (such as Valerie Jarrett and Ruth Bader Ginsburg), because rather than pick three Supreme Court justices, for instance, we wanted to include women from all facets of Washington life. Many of these women talked to NJ about their (slowly) increasing share of power, the work/life balance everyone here struggles with, and other obstacles that women must still overcome.

Click here to read National Journal's list, which includes Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano and Lisa Jackson.


Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.