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47. Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis

AGE: 58
OCCUPATION: President, Chicago Teachers Union

This Dartmouth grad and former science teacher may be her own worst enemy (was it really necessary to mock Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s lisp?). But with contract negotiations on the horizon (the current teachers’ deal expires June 30), the union solidly behind her, and the power to strike in her hands, this first-term prez looms as a potential roadblock to Mayor Emanuel’s efforts to remake Chicago’s public schools.

MORE ON LEWIS: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis on Rahm, Brizard, Arne Duncan, and the Longer School Day | CTU President Karen Lewis: Race, Class at Center of Education Debate

RELATED: Most Powerful Ex-Chicagoans | Power Couples | Power Siblings | Up-and-Comers | Poll: Which Powerful Chicagoan Would You Call Back First? | Quiz: Do You Know Chicago’s Power Players? | Back to all 100


Photograph: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune



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