100 Most Influential People in US Defense

100 Most Influential People in US Defense
Source: Defense News

The Defense News 100 Most Influential People in US Defense is back, but it’s a bit different from last year.

This year’s list focuses more on policy, budget and strategic issues, and less on personnel and veterans issues.

The list also includes a number of foreign leaders, notably the most influential person in US defense: Chinese Premier Xi Jinping. Since foreign leaders — including Xi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and others — have such a strong impact on US defense spending, we felt it appropriate to include them on this list.

Another major change is including members of the Joint Chiefs Staff as individuals, as opposed to grouping them into a single entry. Service chiefs distinguish themselves and their services to varying degrees. All of the chiefs made the top third of the list.

There are more than two dozen other newcomers to this year’s list. Some are folks who didn’t make the cut last year, while others are people who have assumed positions of influence. A year ago, no one knew Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified descriptions of widespread US government spying. Now he’s a household name.

Some of the list’s biggest movers between 2012 and 2013 were people who left government or became key players in President Barack Obama’s administration.