Julia Stasch

AGE: 65
OCCUPATION: Vice president, U.S. Programs, MacArthur Foundation

Since 1978, the powerful foundation has invested in affordable-housing, education, and arts initiatives in Chicago to the tune of $1 billion. And for more than a decade, Stasch, a former Daley chief of staff with deep ties to the city’s elite business clubs, has held the purse strings.

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Photograph: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation