From business and academia to Hollywood and the Beltway, meet the people with the most clout.
By Kimberly L. Allers

(FORTUNE Magazine) – The people who used to be called minorities now make up a majority of the U.S. population. And the individuals featured here could make the cut on almost any power list--so why spotlight the most influential African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and others with roots worldwide? Because the nature of power is changing, and people of color are flexing their muscles as never before, inside and outside the corporate world. Because the playing field still isn't level, so it's worth celebrating talent realized, potential fulfilled, missions accomplished. And because influence of all kinds just plain fascinates us. So welcome to the new power list. You'll recognize many of these names, but some may be new to you. You may cheer a few choices or feel outraged by our omissions. Go to to draw up your own list of influentials. And, until next year, keep the clout coming. --Kimberly L. Allers with Nadira A. Hira


JAMES A. BELL 56, CFO, Boeing Named interim CEO after Harry Stonecipher's scandalous retreat, Bell was called "Mr. Clean" for his spotless accounting record. Passed over for the top job, he still runs the numbers for the $53 billion company. That ain't chopped liver.

KENNETH KIDO 47, president, retail bank product/operations, Washington Mutual The former credit card chief at BofA now heads up the retail banking division of the country's largest (and fastest-growing) thrift. Grew the consumer-lending business from $10 billion to $50 billion in four years.

JONATHAN D. MARINER 51, CFO, Major League Baseball Keeps America's pastime solvent. If that seems a thankless task, look at what's next: dealing with the shrill factions vying to buy the Washington Nationals.

FELICIA THORNTON 41, CFO, Albertson's Thornton reduced debt by a whopping $800 million last year and helped slash $1 billion in costs over three years at the supermarket chain. Look out, Wal-Mart!


PETER BYNOE 54, partner, DLA Piper Outside of the world's third-largest law firm, Bynoe is best known as one of Michael Jordan's lawyers. But he's a true power player in sports. Example: He negotiated the $250 million deal for the White Sox's new Cellular Field, then helped build affordable housing for the people it displaced.

FRED HASSAN 59, CEO, Schering-Plough His turnaround rep is so good that Wall Street hoped he'd land at troubled Merck.

CARLA HARRIS 42, managing director, global capital markets, Morgan Stanley Harris likes to do two things with money: raise it and give it away. She structures billions in stock and bond deals, making millions for Morgan. The giving-away part: A talented singer, Harris is donating the proceeds of her latest gospel CD to parochial schools.

RAYMOND MCGUIRE 48, co-head, global investment banking, Citigroup At Morgan Stanley in 2000, he led the $14.9 billion sale of Nabisco Holdings to Philip Morris. But he shocked the Street in May when he fled the troubled investment bank for Citigroup. Now, instead of just M&A work, he oversees all investment-banking activities.

CHRISTINE POON 53, worldwide chairman, medicines and nutritionals, Johnson & Johnson Think she's got her hands full running the division that brings you $24 billion worth of products, from Tylenol to Splenda? In January Poon became the first female vice chairman in the company's 119-year history.


EARVIN JOHNSON 46, CEO, Johnson Development Corp. It's easy to poke fun at pro athletes who fancy themselves as businessmen, but "Magic" is the real thing. He's cut numerous inner-city deals with Starbucks and TGI Friday's, helping a slew of entrepreneurs get their start. Then there are the five movie theaters and a partnership with Washington Mutual to help minority families buy new homes.

JORGE M. PEREZ 55, CEO, Related Group of Florida A force behind the real estate frenzy in south Florida, he has a $2 billion portfolio with nearly 50 high-rise condo projects in development from Miami to Las Vegas.

QUINTIN PRIMO 50, president, Capri Capital Advisors Talk about a good eye: Primo buys malls and office buildings for institutional investors and pension funds. Since 1992 his firm has also amassed a $5 billion mortgage portfolio, which it sold this year to CharterMac, netting Primo $85 million.

CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS 47, chairman, Williams Capital Group Built the largest full-service black-owned investment bank, surviving a ferocious consolidation trend. On Wal-Mart's board. Next stop: Europe.

Artists in Residence

SHAWN "JAY-Z" CARTER 35, president, Def Jam From the top of the rap charts to the executive suite, he's worth almost $300 million. A partnership in Rocawear, an Audemars Piguet watch deal, a Reebok sneaker--all that and music's "it" girl, Beyoncé, too.

WYNTON MARSALIS 43, artistic director, Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz's ambassador to the world worked overtime to raise $131 million for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall, a stunning showcase that opened last year. A massive shot in the arm for those trying to make a living in the business of serious music, as well as anyone trying to record, market, or listen to them.

WILL SMITH 36, partner, Overbrook Entertainment He didn't get much respect as Fresh Prince, but now Smith is a king of Hollywood. One of the few black actors who can play the starring role in a blockbuster, he's also a killer romantic lead. Hitch, co-produced by Overbrook Entertainment, his production company, has grossed over $350 million worldwide. In addition to co-production credits on other big films--Ali, I, Robot--he is also thinking global. For each new film or album, he targets a specific country with promotion efforts--not typical Hollywood-actor thinking.


CARLOS M. GUTIERREZ 51, U.S. Secretary of Commerce The former Kellogg CEO is now in the business of promoting business. Pet project: opening Central America to U.S. trade. He recently helped get CAFTA through Congress.

REV. JESSE JACKSON 63, president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition Not the power player of yore, but he still has the juice to get things done on Wall Street and in the boardroom. Recently he's been buying the stock of major companies, which should increase his clout.

In the Hot Seat

KENNETH C. FRAZIER 50, general counsel, Merck Busy man: He oversees the company's Vioxx litigation. Was legal watchdog in the 2003 Medco Health spinoff. Does pro bono work for death row inmates.

BRUCE GORDON 59, president and CEO, NAACP Insiders are looking to Gordon to revitalize the group, which some critics say is too old school. Members are betting his corporate experience running Verizon's biggest division will help.

AYLWIN LEWIS 51, president, Sears Holdings After a successful run with YUM, parent of Pizza Hut, Lewis now faces one of the big challenges in business: merging frumpy Kmart and Sears and getting them in shape to take on Target and Wal-Mart. Yikes!

ARTURO MORENO 59, CEO, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim After he changed the name from Anaheim Angels, the billboard billionaire got hit with a lawsuit by the city of Anaheim. Moreno reckons the name will help market the team. Certainly he has energized a once sleepy franchise.

Rising Stars

ROLAND FRYER 28, junior fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, Harvard University The newest name in economics, he has a controversial take on underachievement in black communities--citing environment, among other things, as a probable cause. The economics establishment avoids the issue, but Fryer keeps pressing.

MELLODY HOBSON 36, president, Ariel Capital Management Hobson runs the largest black-owned money management firm in the U.S. and was a nominee for mutual-fund exec of the year in 2004. But Hobson really made her mark passionately defending the industry in testimony before Congress and publicly taking on New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer.

BARACK OBAMA 44, U.S. Senator (D-Illinois) His star was raised along with the roof at last year's Democratic convention--what a speech! But as the lone African American in the Senate, this freshman has a lot more than potential. Obama takes meetings with Warren Buffett, wrote a bestselling autobiography, and signed a $1.9 million, three-book deal with Random House. His fundraisers pack the halls and raised $14 million--plus for his 2004 campaign. And he's shown he won't be toeing the party line; Obama recently voted with Repubs to pass legislation to reform class-action lawsuits.

TIM STORY 35, filmmaker, Story Co. The former music-video director hit it big with 2002's Barbershop, but it's his Fantastic Four directing gig that has the industry (if not critics) buzzing--it's a milestone for black directors trying to enter the blockbuster biz.

Brand Fathers

EARL G. GRAVES SR. 70, publisher, Black Enterprise After 35 years and three businesses (media, investing, events), the legendary Graves remains one of the most influential black businessmen in the country. Next: a new partnership with Clear Channel.

ROBERT L. JOHNSON 59, chairman, Black Entertainment Television In a quarter-century he built a cable TV powerhouse that's watched by 80 million viewers annually. In 2006 he'll retire, but he'll hang on to the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.

EDWARD LEWIS 65, chairman, Essence Communications After nurturing the Essence brand for more than three decades, he sold his magazine to Time Inc. (FORTUNE's parent). He's a non-exec chairman now but still the go-to guy for young black media pros in search of smart advice and a sympathetic ear.

RUSSELL SIMMONS 47, CEO, Rush Communications The hip-hop granddaddy apparently isn't a numbers guy--he once overstated his company's financials. But that hasn't stopped him. In 18 months he's distributed 500,000 Rush Prepaid Visa Cards, which target less-well-to-do consumers. Last year he sold Phat Fashions--the family of brands he created--for $140 million.


SEAN "P. DIDDY" COMBS 35, chairman, Bad Boy Worldwide Last year the artist, formerly known as Puffy, won the Menswear Designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. He has a new HBO comedy show, plus his reality hits on MTV. Did we mention a fifty-fifty venture between his Bad Boy and Warner Music? Diddy's clothing business, Sean John, may be in a rough patch now, but no one questions his continuing influence.

CHRISTINA NORMAN 41, president, Music Television Network After a stellar run at VH1, winning its highest ratings ever (who could resist One Hit Wonders?), Norman returned to MTV in May to run the big show and launch MTV World.

ANDREA WONG 38, EVP, alternative programming, specials and late night, ABC Sure, it was a bit odd. But the minute she saw Dancing With the Stars, Wong knew it was a hit. Also brought The Bachelor to ABC and developed Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Now she's high on The Million Dollar Idea, a new reality series out to find America's best business scheme.


RALPH ALVAREZ 49, president, McDonald's North America McFans, thank Alvarez for the new salads, DVD rentals, and web access. Investors give him high marks for helping the stock almost triple since 2003.

EDUARDO CASTRO-WRIGHT 50, COO, U.S. stores division, Wal-Mart Stores Castro-Wright ruled at the ultra-successful Mexico unit; now he's tackling the U.S. and its 3,151 stores. Raw power.

JAMES J. PADILLA 58, president, Ford Motor Wowed the world with relaunches of Jaguar and Aston Martin; as CEO Bill Ford's right-hand man, he slashed over 10,000 jobs last month to help Ford grapple with high costs.

Valley Boys

COLIN POWELL 68, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers When he left the Beltway he could've joined any board in the land, but he went for something small and risky: a gig at Silicon Valley's most famous VC outfit. What does the former Secretary of State bring to the party? Thirty-five years of military experience, four-star-general status, and connections you can't put a pricetag on.

HECTOR RUIZ 59, CEO, Advanced Micro Devices Sure, Ruiz raised eyebrows by suing Intel, but he's really trying to beat his formidable rival the old-fashioned way: by building better chips.

JOHN W. THOMPSON 56, CEO, Symantec The security firm is booming as hacking proliferates. The ex-IBMer is behind acquisitions like the $10.5 billion Veritas deal.

JERRY YANG 36, founder, Yahoo Others run the company, but Yang was behind the deal to sell broadband with SBC, giving Yahoo a direct link to customers. An Internet legend.

People to Watch

ROGER W. FERGUSON JR. 53, vice chairman, Federal Reserve Board Alan Greenspan's No. 2 sits on the Fed's interest-rate committee. He may not replace Greenspan, but there will be a mad scramble for his services in the public or private sector.

MALCOLM GLADWELL 41, author The New Yorker writer made his mark with his influential book The Tipping Point. Son of an accomplished black Jamaican mother and a white British mathematician, he has quietly transcended issues of race. (Essence magazine noted he's "often miscast as 'incog-negro.'") Gets $40,000 a pop as a speaker; corporate CEOs give him big-league props. He's Colin Powell's cousin too!

VYOMESH JOSHI 51, EVP, imaging and printing group, Hewlett-Packard Restructuring aside, Joshi is still the straw that stirs the drink. Despite rival Dell's push into printers, his unit alone would rank No. 79 on the FORTUNE 500.

MICHELLE WIE 15, amateur golfer Move over, Tiger. The teen phenom has marketers lining up. If she keeps whupping up on the men of the PGA tour, she'll be sports' next great money machine.

REPORTER ASSOCIATES Christopher Tkaczyk, Jenny Mero, Tiffany Forte, and Margaretta Soehendro