The 50 most powerful people in networking

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Associate director for IT and e-government, U.S. Office of Management and Budget

Forman has an enviable amount of IT money to allot - along with plenty of IT projects to monitor. He oversees federal IT spending, which exceeded $48 billion in 2002 and will top $52 billion in 2003. One of his biggest challenges is keeping track of the projects agencies are working on, to reduce duplication and consolidate hundreds of overlapping IT projects in the federal government. As part of his job, Forman directs the activities of the federal CIO Council. He has created a framework to manage the modernization of government systems, and his team grades the progress of each agency quarterly. Security is a key concern. Many existing systems require security upgrades, and Forman has had to withhold some IT funding to encourage agencies to fix security vulnerabilities in their old systems before tackling new rollouts.

Don Haile

CIO, Fidelity Investments Systems Company

Fidelity Investments is the largest mutual fund company in the U.S., with an IT division that employs 2,500 people and spends $2 billion annually - all under Haile's watchful eye (see story, "Fidelity's IT treasure" ).

Sangtae Kim

Vice president and information officer, Lilly Research Laboratories

The adage "time is money" is particularly relevant to the pharmaceutical industry, where product development delays can mean millions in lost revenue. At Lilly Research Laboratories, a division of pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company, Kim is among the pioneers of computational drug discovery. He oversees departments responsible for the application of information technology in pharmaceutical research and development - including technologies that drive discovery research, preclinical development, clinical research and regulatory affairs. He's also an early power player in the world of grid computing, whereby surplus computing power and spare IT resources are harnessed to tackle a single complex application.

John Stenbit

Assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence; CIO, Department of Defense

Stenbit publicly states that his goal is making information available on a network that people can trust. His challenges include populating Defense Department networks with new, dynamic sources of information to defeat the enemy and denying the enemy such information advantages. As CIO, Stenbit needs to think of his users, who require a secure, robust network with fresh information and collaborative capabilities. As an assistant secretary of defense, he needs to think tactically, coming up with new ways to access information from U.S. adversaries. Toward these ends, Stenbit is involved in multiple IT projects, including a massive $400 million effort to revamp the Pentagon's IT infrastructure.

Winn Stephenson

Senior vice president of IT development, FedEx Services

With an IT budget of $1.5 billion and staff of 5,000, FedEx Services supports the air and ground divisions of FedEx. Stephenson's domains are the company's network infrastructure and field service devices and scanning systems. Most recently, his team worked with Motorola to develop the FedEx PowerPad, a Microsoft Windows-powered Pocket PC designed for 40,000 of the company's couriers. The devices will be deployed early in 2003 to replace units that don't immediately upload package information to the FedEx network. With the FedEx PowerPad, as soon as a package is scanned and signed for, the device sends the data and signature capture to the corporate network.

STANDARDS POWER

Standards are becoming more important than ever as companies seek to open their systems to their business partners' and customers' networks. We applaud those working behind the scenes to make sure everyone plays by the same rules.

Harald Alvestrand

Chair, Internet Engineering Task Force

The soft-spoken, contemplative IETF leader understands how strategic his role is. Rather than focusing with unwavering attention on Internet technology alone, he envisions the business and social changes spurred by the Internet. Such changes are built on the technologies that the IETF and other standards groups help create. An active and articulate speaker, Alvestrand strongly advocates cooperation among standards organizations.

Michael Barrett

President, Liberty Alliance

The striking thing about the Liberty Alliance is that it is knee-deep in end-user involvement - a rarity among standards organizations. Barrett, who is also vice president of Internet strategy for American Express, took over as president in September. Under Barrett's reign, the Alliance - now nearly 100 members strong - continued to gain serious ground in 2002 in its goal to establish standards for the emerging area of identity management. Just four months after releasing its 1.0 specification, it had a 1.1 draft available for public review.

Leslie Daigle

Chair, Internet Architecture Board

The IAB is the IETF's premier committee, overseeing personnel placements, acting as an advisory council to various IETF participants, guiding development of protocols and being a watchdog for the process by which a proposal becomes a standard, among other duties. Daigle, who also serves as director of directory research for VeriSign, assumed this job in March. Formerly, she was IAB executive director, and has worked on standards for technologies such as uniform resource identifiers.

Chris Kaler and Kelvin Lawrence

Co-chairs, Web services security tech committee, OASIS

Web services are shaping up to be the future of the Internet if the standards-setting powers can secure them. Enter Kaler and Lawrence - the former is architect, Web services and security at Microsoft and the latter an IBM distinguished engineer and CTO of the company's dynamic e-business technology. Kaler played an instrumental role in creating WS-Security, the Web Services security protocol spearheaded by IBM, Microsoft and VeriSign and released in April. It was turned over to this Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) committee for refinement. As of November, these two, with engineers from VeriSign and Sun, developed the fourth draft of WS-Security.

Alan Paller

Director of research, SANS Institute

With security threats rising at an alarming rate, Paller's power is growing quickly. The institute says that 12,500 security professionals received training in 2001 under its auspices. Paller, who founded the institute, is responsible for research that has changed the way the industry secures network operating systems and hardware. The institute, which counts 150,000 people as members, is also a founding participant in a multiagency effort to create minimum security-standards benchmarks for use by the industry at large. A frequent public speaker and media regular, Paller talks, and network executives listen.

LAWFUL POWER

Cyberterrorism. WorldCom's efforts to emerge from bankruptcy. Telecom regulation. Securities fraud. These are some heady issues that the government players we've singled out have to tackle. Their decisions can affect the availability and security of our nation's networks, plus the health and stability of the companies that operate that infrastructure.

Richard Clarke

Special advisor to the president for cyberspace security

In the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, government security specialist Clarke became special adviser to President Bush. In this role, he advises Bush on all matters related to cybersecurity and chairs a governmentwide board tasked with coordinating the protection of critical infrastructure systems. So far his team's efforts can be seen in a draft publication of national strategy for protecting America's infrastructure, released for comment in September.

Arthur Gonzalez

Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York

Assigned to shepherd the record-breaking WorldCom case through its Chapter 11 proceeding, Gonzalez has had to make some tough decisions so far, including approval of a $25 million budget for paying key employees sizable bonuses to stay with the company as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy. Gonzalez bases his decisions on what can best enhance the value of the company, he told critics who questioned the distribution of bonuses. Other Gonzalez rulings in this history-making bankruptcy are the approval of up to $2 billion in interim financing to keep WorldCom operating as it reorganizes its finances; the decision to grant WorldCom permission to get out of contracts for 30 of its 49 unused fiber-optic links; and the appointment of an independent investigator.

Michael Powell

Chairman, Federal Communications Commission

The ball's in Powell's court, but the kind of play he will make is relatively uncertain - even after two years as chairman of the agency that controls interstate and international telecommunications. With Powell's reputation for a hands-off approach to regulation, industry watchers expected the FCC chief to loosen restraints on regional Bells so they could launch consumer broadband services more easily. But the top U.S. communications regulator has been slow to act, perhaps out of fear of further wounding incumbents such as WorldCom, critics say. Powell still has the power to fuel modernization of the public network - if he decides to use it.

Eliot Spitzer

Attorney general, state of New York

This sheriff of Wall Street has demonstrated serious zeal in uncovering conflicts of interest among financial services firms that potentially hurt investors. He's been digging into Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney investment banking unit and in particular the work of Salomon telecom analyst Jack Grubman, who is suspected of recommending stocks to help win banking business. Spitzer's dogged efforts have garnered international attention and led many companies to overhaul their investment bank research practices. And, of course, fiscal repercussions have followed. One Spitzer inquiry led to a $100 million fine for Merrill Lynch. This year, Spitzer filed suit against Network Associates, seeking to end software license prohibitions against conducting product reviews or tests without the company's permission. The Democratic attorney general handily gained reelection in November. Industry watchers don't expect this political up-and-comer to stop there.

POWER THINKERS

How should a company prioritize its IT spending? Is the market ready for this product? When is the economy going to improve? The power thinkers we've selected might not always have the answers people want to hear, but their guidance and wisdom have helped vendors and users alike weather the persistent downturn.

Judith Donath

Director, Sociable Media Group, MIT Media Lab

Donath has the unusual job of investigating personal identity in the networked world. Her studies of how cyberspace shapes social interactions are growing in importance now that telework is an accepted practice, and office workers communicate as much with e-mail and instant messaging as in they do in person. The Sociable Media Group she leads is concocting models that eventually will help network executives build infrastructures that best support users.

John Hagel

Business strategist

With his third book, Out of the Box: Strategies for Achieving Profits Today & Growth Tomorrow Through Web Services, this popular business writer continues to offer tidbits on how to marry IT with business needs. A former McKinsey & Co. consultant who went out on his own last year, Hagel is a speaker-circuit favorite. His experience encompasses everything from creating a start-up that was successfully sold off for a mint (Sequoia Group, sold to MetPath in 1982) to helping with the recent launch of Web services providers, such as Grand Central, one of our 10 start-ups to watch for 2002 and whose CEO is on this most powerful list for his Web services service vision.

Anne Thomas Manes

Founder and CEO, Bowlight

An expert on Web services standards and security issues, Manes recently decided it was time to go it alone. She just launched Bowlight, a consulting firm with a mission of helping software start-ups refine their technical and business strategies, and helping business users sort through Web services trends. Most recently she was CTO at Web services infrastructure company Systinet. Before that, Manes pioneered Sun's Web services strategy. Her track record includes work with the W3C, OASIS and the Web Services Interoperability Organization, not to mention actual track records she earned through her PRO Rally high-speed auto racing hobby.

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