26. Mona Mourshed
Mona Mourshed
Partner, Middle East office, and global education lead, McKinsey
Age: 39
Industry: Consulting

The MIT Ph.D. wears two hats at McKinsey: In 2005 she became the first female elected partner in the firm's Middle East office, and this summer she was named head of the firm's worldwide education practice. Her influence is far-reaching: Research she started in 2010 on the connection between youth employment and education in the Arab world took on a heightened level of importance amid the Arab Spring. Her work extends beyond the Middle East; she explores topics ranging from school system reform to vocational training in Latin America and Asia as well.

Latest obsession: TRX workouts.

Last updated October 25 2011: 5:11 PM ET