When I was just starting out at 5280 Magazine, one of my early assignments was fact-checking their “most powerful people in Denver” feature. It was a fun and fascinating approach to find out who was really pulling the levers in the city—not just politicians and business CEOs, but nonprofit leaders, athletes, academics, and more. A few years later, I was fortunate enough to co-write that story.
You can learn a lot about a city while working on a power package, so when I moved to Boston Magazine, I put together and edited similar stories looking at both general power and then at at influence in philanthropy. Continuing that trend in a new place, I was lucky enough to oversee the “50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh” feature this month for Pittsburgh Magazine. (Big thanks to co-writers Sean Collier and Debra Smit.)
In talking with area leaders, one thing became very clear: the Old Pittsburgh composed of manufacturing-minded behemoths like U.S. Steel and Alcoa has been supplanted by New Pittsburgh, led by the foundations, universities, and the health and tech sectors.
And, because it’s the first question that everyone asks, the top slot belongs to Grant Oliphant, the president of the incredibly powerful Heinz Endowments.
Check out the entire list here.