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Boston's Most Powerful Women

Boston's Most Powerful WomenFour Tufts graduates were named to Boston Magazine’s first-ever Power 100 list of the city’s most influential women. Boston.

Boston [05.05.03] From politics to financial services, health care to biomedical research, the Tufts graduates selected for Boston Magazine's Power 100 listing all have at least two things in common: they are women and they are making a major impact in "Beantown" and beyond. In its first-ever ranking of the city's most influential women, the popular magazine named four Tufts graduates - and several others with ties to the University - to its listing of "the 100 women who run this town."

› Hollywood's Most Powerful Women [ read more ]

"Twenty years ago - perhaps even 10 - it would have been impossible to publish a story about the 100 most powerful women in Boston. The most underpaid women, maybe," wrote Boston Magazine's editors in their introduction to the rankings. "Today, women have stepped into pivotal high-powered positions themselves. They're taking home the big paychecks, commanding our military, even winning boxing matches... With this in mind, and for the first time ever, we've compiled a list of the women ... who have emerged as leaders in every field."

Among them, a seasoned political strategist, a powerful financial officer, a leader of a cutting-edge biotechnology company and the leader of one of the city's major medical centers. Leaders in their fields, all four women play critical roles in Boston and far beyond.

"Beth Myers served as a key advisor to the Romney campaign (she played Shannon O'Brien during debate preparations)," reported Boston Magazine, describing the 1979 Tufts graduate ranked 9th on the Power 100 list.

Now the Chief of Staff to Governor Mitt Romney, Myers is among the most powerful figures in the Massachusetts Statehouse.

"She oversees the governor's operations, setting his schedule, coordinating his appearances, and deciding who gets face time with him," reported the magazine.

Just as Myers is a powerhouse in the political area, Irina Simmons - a 1983 Tufts graduate and vice president and treasurer of EMC Corporation -- is a major player in finance.

Simmons - who racked up two decades of finance experience at several leading high tech companies including Lotus before joining EMC - is responsible for managing and investing the company's $5.5 billion in assets.

"The highest ranking woman at the company with the third-highest market value in the state, she is responsible for the pension and 401K plans for the company's 17,000-plus employees worldwide," reported Boston Magazine, describing the Tufts graduate ranked 34th on their Power 100. "She's also on the board of Financial Executives International in Boston."

Mara Aspinall, president of Genzyme Genetics and Genzyme Pharmaceuticals, graduated from Tufts in 1983. Ranked 51st on the Power 100, Aspinall serves on the advisory board for the University College of Citizenship and Public Service and is the past president of the Association of Tufts Alumnae.

"A former Bain and Company senior consultant, Aspinall is one of the highest-ranking women in the fast-growing local biotech sector," reported Boston Magazine. "Genzyme General, which includes her two 600-employee divisions, has posted steadily rising revenues that passed the $1 billion mark last year, up 10 percent, which in this economy is quite possibly a miracle."

Ranked just behind Aspinall at 52, Elian Ullian is one of the leaders in Boston's powerful health care field. The president and CEO of the Boston Medical Center, the 1969 Tufts graduate oversees nearly 5,000 employees, 1,400 doctors and an $800 million annual budget.

"Ullian's hospital continues to be primary beneficiary of the state's $345 million ‘uncompensated care pool,' which collects money from hospitals around the state to pay for the cost of caring for the uninsured," reported Boston Magazine. "Tight with the mayor, she's on the boards of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, Boston Public Health Commission, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Citizen's Bank and the $530 million Boston Foundation."

Also named to the Power 100 List were:

17 - Marian Heard, president and CEO of United Way and Massachusetts Bay, received an honorary degree from Tufts in 1999.

22 - Margaret Marshall, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, will deliver the keynote address at the commencement ceremonies for Tufts' Class of 2003.

44 - Lois Silverman, founder and chair of The Commonwealth Institute, offers mentoring programs for women entrepreneurs. Silverman is married to Tufts Trustee Norman Silverman.


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