The following is an excerpt from Boston Magazine‘s annual listing.
For years, Boston’s women have fought for a seat at the tables of power. Now, in a stream of elections, appointments, and hires over the past year or so, female leaders have finally positioned themselves at the head of many of those tables.
That’s represented throughout our 2023 ranking of the most influential Bostonians—in fact, nearly half of the people on the list are women.
The most obvious example is our new number one: Maura Healey, who became the state’s first woman elected governor just a year after Michelle Wu became the first woman elected mayor of Boston.
Voters seem to be ahead of the curve, but boards of directors and search committees are catching up. Look around the city, and you’ll find women newly named as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, president of GBH, and editor of the Boston Globe. The biotech industry and universities are also leading the charge: New presidents at Harvard and MIT—Claudine Gay and Sally Kornbluth, respectively—exemplify the latter, while CEOs Reshma Kewalramani of Vertex and Yvonne Greenstreet of Alnylam represent the former.
#33 – Kendalle Burlin O’Connell
PRESIDENT AND CEO, MASSACHUSETTS BIOTECHNOLOGY COUNCIL
Burlin O’Connell has now taken the helm of the most influential organization in the region’s critical growth industry after years spent advancing through its ranks. “MassBio wouldn’t be what it is without her,” raves the group’s former CEO, Bob Coughlin. More evidence of her influence? One of her brainchildren, a biotech workforce training center in Dorchester, is expected to open later this year.