From the president of the United States to the heads of some of the biggest financial institutions in the world, Harvard University graduates have established themselves in powerful positions.
Harvard—which was recently named the university with the best reputation in the world—is known as being one of the best academic institutions in the America. Both its undergraduate and graduate programs consistently top many higher education rankings.
For this list, we’ve included any living person who has a degree from one of Harvard’s schools. We looked for those who are currently in positions of major power and influence on both a national and global stage.
Jill Abramson is not only the Executive Editor of the New York Times, arguably the most influential newspaper in the world, but she is the first female to hold the title in its 160 year history. She also graduated from Harvard magna cum laude.
Ki-moon has held the title of Secretary-General of the UN since 2007, after being unanimously re-elected in 2011. For his second term he wanted to focus on empowering women and promoting sustainable development. Prior to his appointment, he was South Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, received a B.A. and later a M.A. in economics in 1975
Ben Bernake is the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, where his name was at the forefront in trying to solve the economic collapse. Now, he makes more money in a 40 minute speech than he did for a year's worth of work.
Goldman Sachs has $US938 billion in assets, making it one of the financial superpowers of the world. Blankfein has been its CEO since 2006 and in 2013 was listed #27 on Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People.
The uber-wealthy, former three-term mayor of New York City changed how we all look at giant sodas. He was recently appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.
Stephen Breyer ('64)/Elana Kagan ('86)/Anthony Kennedy ('61)/Antonin Scalia ('60), Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States
Together, this group of Harvard graduates make up half of the US Supreme Court's associate justices, spanning the entire ideological spectrum.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, received a B.A. in government in 1987
Burwell was the one who shut down the government for 16 days this October when she was only six months on the job. She has also held high positions in large charities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wal-mart Foundation. She graduated form Harvard cum laude.
Jamie Dimon is listed #22 on Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People and runs one of the largest banks in the world. He recently came under fire for getting a 74% raise in 2013 while JPMorgan had big lay-offs. Dimon was previously a director for the New York Federal Reserve.
Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, earned his B.A., and two M.A.s in architecture and public administration by 1995
Duncan has been the Secretary of Education since 2009. Prior to his appointment he was CEO of Chicago Public Schools. He was also named MVP of the recent basketball All-Star Celebrity Game, earning a 20 point all-time high.
From his current Secretary of Treasury to to his former positions at Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Lew has held some pretty powerful positions. His loopy signature now graces newly circulated currency.
Being a relatively young Chief Justice, Roberts will likely be able to shape and direct the court for many years to come. He has already written influential opinions on cases such as healthcare reform. Roberts graduated summa cum laude with his Bachelor's and magna cum laude with his Juris Doctor.
Facebook is one of the most widely used social mediums in the world and Sheryl Sandberg operates it -- making her net worth more than $1 billion. Previously, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, and served as chief of staff for the United States Secretary of the Treasury. She graduated summa cum laude.
Johnson Sirleaf became the President of Liberia in 2006, subsequently becoming the world's first elected black female president and Africa's first elected female head of state. In 2011 she was awarded a shared Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts promoting Liberian reconciliation.
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