Friday, December 19, 2008

America's Best Leaders 2008

U.S.News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University just published their list of America's Best Leaders.

The honorees were selected by a committee of academic, government, business, and nonprofit leaders convened by the center. U.S. News did not have a vote.

The panelists rated the nominees from to 1 to 5 based on how well they met the following criteria:

Sets Direction (25 percent): By building a shared sense of purpose; by setting out to make a positive social impact; by implementing innovative strategies.

Achieves Results (50 percent): Of significant depth and breadth; that have a positive social impact; that are sustainable; that exceed expectations.

Cultivates a Culture of Growth (25 percent): By communicating and embodying positive core values; by inspiring others to lead.

Here they are:

Lance Armstrong
Cyclist and Advocate Making tireless efforts on behalf of cancer survivors like himself.
David Baltimore
California Institute of Technology This Nobel-winning scientist leads with "a little bit of chutzpah."
Regina Benjamin
Le Batre Rural Health Clinic She believes that living in a tiny rural town shouldn't mean giving up big-city healthcare.
Jeff Bezos The founder of the massive online retailer is a true Internet pioneer.
Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock
Thelonious Monk Institute Their Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz brings music education to public schools.
Benjamin Carson
Johns Hopkins Hospital A talented pediatric neurosurgeon and activist for inner-city kids.
Manny Diaz
Mayor of Miami A son of Cuban immigrants, Diaz leads one of the nation's major multicultural cities.
Marian Wright Edelman
Children's Defense Fund A civil rights pioneer and crusader on behalf of children.
Anthony Fauci
National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases A leader on HIV/AIDS and a straight talker on key health issues.
Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin
Knowledge Is Power Program Raising educational expectations in underserved communities.
Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense Pentagon chief looks for uses of "soft power" in a hard power world.
Fiona Harrison and Maria Zuber
NASA scientists The first two women to head their own NASA robotic space missions.
Freeman Hrabowski
University of Maryland-Baltimore County He helped turn a no-name commuter college into a center for math and science.
Amory Lovins
Rocky Mountain Institute For this bright light in the field of alternative energy, it's all about efficiency.
Anne Mulcahy
Xerox In reforming a troubled company, she had the courage to say "No" to Wall Street.
Indra Nooyi
PepsiCo Karaoke-singing chief executive is taking Pepsi in an unlikely direction--toward healthful foods.
Linda Rottenberg
Endeavor Her nonprofit seeks to build profitable small businesses on a global scale.
Jeffrey Sachs
United Nations Millennium Project An academic who looks for real-world ways to beat global poverty.
Steven Spielberg
Filmmaker He addresses important issues on the big screen and through his philanthropy.
Michael Tilson Thomas
San Francisco Symphony A maverick maestro is winning big crowds of new classical music fans.
U.S. Junior Officers
Military They are rising in the military ranks with a hard-earned wisdom forged by war.
Do you agree with the criteria? Do the people on the list reflect the best of the best in their respective fields? Who would you have chosen instead?


Anonymous said...

This year's list of "America's Best Leaders" is probably one of the more influential ones. There are a lot of inspirational individuals on this list. Just reading about them and what they have done inspires me to strengthen my efforts in trying to make a difference in this world. They probably inspire you too! Thanks for bringing this list to us.

Mary Jo Asmus, President, Aspire Collaborative Services LLC said...

I, too, am humbled by the list. I'm glad that in this time of less-than-ethical leaders (you know, the ones who get all the press) that U.S.News and World Report can point out that there are some pretty amazing ones out there. And, there are plenty of wonderful leaders who meet the criteria who may not be as well known as the people on this list. How about the economic developer in my home town who has been able to announce 6000 new jobs for our region this year (during a failing economy, and in Michigan!). He is a wonderful person to boot. Plenty of others out there.

Dan McCarthy said...

Aleksander, MaryJo –
Lee Iacocca recently wrote a bestseller “Where have all the Leaders Gone”? They are out there, aren’t they? I think it’s like everything else, the media and society tend to look for the negative.

American Heroes Radio said...

A very interesting list - I wonder why they chose the Junior Military Officers rather than the NCO corps?

James Higham said...

Lance Armstrong surprised me here until I did some reading.

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome list. I did not even know some of them. Thanks.