74. Michèle Flournoy and Anne-Marie Slaughter
for setting the tone of how the United States engages with the world.
Policy planning chiefs, Defense and State Departments | Washington
Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 on the promise of changing not just the style but the substance of how the United States deals with its allies and enemies abroad, and the job of figuring out how to enact the changes fell largely to two people in particular. At the State Department, Anne-Marie Slaughter, director of policy planning, is spearheading the department's Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. The review aims to rejuvenate marginalized civilian agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, preparing for a world in which America's worst threats are not great-power rivals but the upheavals associated with failed and failing states.
Slaughter's Pentagon counterpart is Undersecretary for Policy Michèle Flournoy, co-founder of the Center for a New American Security think tank, who articulated a vision for a new Democratic realism in foreign policy that both candidates Hillary Clinton and Obama embraced in the 2008 election. In 2010 she oversaw the Pentagon's own quadrennial review, a blueprint that cuts back on big-ticket weapons systems and focuses instead on the immediate needs posed by today's asymmetrical conflicts. Flournoy has also been a vocal advocate for Obama's Afghanistan strategy, albeit a pragmatic one: "I don't want to suggest that achieving success will be simple or easy," she told the Senate in February. "We need to prepare for the possibility that things may get harder before they get better."
75. Aung San Suu Kyi
for never giving up on democracy.
Dissident | Burma
When Aung San Suu Kyi emerged this fall from a house arrest that had lasted on and off for two decades, the world was impatient to hear what this symbol of Burma's embattled resistance movement would have to say. Would she rage against her captors, the Burmese junta that had just days before staged its first, extraordinarily flawed election in two decades? Would she call for international intervention to end a regime that has become known for its vicious crackdowns on minority and opposition groups and a dangerously laissez-faire attitude toward the drug barons operating along its borders? Instead, the freed dissident made a remarkably levelheaded call for long-term reform of the sort that comes from within: "value change," as she put it, not regime change. And she has already begun to take action, filing papers to reinstate her political party and promising an investigation into the recent election. As she said upon her release, "We have a lot of things to do."*
*Editor's note: This bio has been updated from the print version to reflect Aung San Suu Kyi's Nov. 13 release from house arrest.
76. Richard Clarke
for scary prescience about the great threat of our time -- again.
Consultant | Washington
The man who famously warned about 9/11, Richard Clarke hasn't stopped being right just because he's not talking to the president anymore. For years, Clarke, who was George W. Bush's special advisor on cybersecurity before he left government entirely in 2003, had been beating the drum about the vague and, for most people, not terribly frightening specter of online terrorism, culminating this year in his book Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It.
But now, cyberwar has gone from outlandish spy-movie plot to fixture of global conflict. The hacking of Chinese dissidents' gmail accounts, the "Stuxnet" attacks, the alarming probes of critical Pentagon systems, and many other online assaults have contributed to a feeling that everyone is vulnerable. Worse, no one seems to understand how to prevent or fight a cyberwar -- or even how to think about it. As Clarke and his co-author Robert Knake write, "The biggest secret in the world about cyber war may be that at the very same time the U.S. prepares for offensive cyber war, it is continuing policies that make it impossible to defend the nation effectively from cyber attack." Let's hope that this time, someone's listening.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
77. Helene Gayle
for understanding that poverty and disease can't be fought separately.
CEO, CARE USA | Atlanta
As chief executive of one of the world's largest NGOs, a respected epidemiologist, and one of the most high-profile women in international aid, Helene Gayle knows a thing or two about the circular traps of poverty and disease. Chair of a key White House advisory council on HIV/AIDS, Gayle has called for a broad anti-epidemic arsenal that ranges from prevention to counseling and improved support for health-care institutions to a more holistic look at the social and economic factors that enable the disease. This year, Gayle also brought her wide-angle vision to Haiti, where CARE is spending $100 million in the aftermath of January's earthquake. Gayle has been keen to help Haitians get on with the rebuilding, fortifying institutions from schools to hospitals to sewage plants. As she said in January, "We need to make sure that we're building back in a way that … gives them an opportunity to really get a leg up after this is all over."