by Michael Connor

Regulators and rulemakers led the list of 100 most influential people affecting corporate governance in America’s board rooms in 2010, according to the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Board RoomAdministration officials on the list include President Barack Obama, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and Valerie B. Jarrett.  Re-elected to the list were Sen. Christopher Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, authors of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Law, and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary L. Schapiro.

The list, published in Directorship Magazine, is based on a survey of 15,000 public company directors and executives. The magazine doesn’t rank the 100 but instead selects several people each from a number of categories including regulators, directors, CEOs, governance policy makers, attorneys and professors.

Corporate directors in the top 100 include Dina Dublin (serving on the boards of Microsoft, Accenture, Pepsico); J. Michael Cook (Comcast, Burt’s Bees,  International Flavors and Fragrances);  Raymond J. Groves (Boston Scientific);  Bonnie G. Hill (Home Depot, AK Steel Holding, California Water Service Group, Yum! Brands); and Mellody Hobson (DreamWorks Animation, Estée Lauder, Starbucks).

CEOs who are also top 100 directors include Steven Ballmer of Microsoft, Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil, Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, Steve Jobs of Apple, and Ellen Kullman of DuPont.

Based on the selections, Harvard University claimed bragging rights.  According to the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation blog, the Directorship 100 list includes twenty-seven individuals who are Harvard Law School faculty or fellows, guest Contributors to the blog, and/or Harvard Law School alumni – suggesting, the blog says, that Harvard and its governance program play  “a central role in the corporate governance landscape.”

Said Directorship Magazine:  “All members of the Directorship 100, regardless of how they arrived here, have power and influence. Some of it is new, some of it is long-standing.  Our modest job is to reveal those who exert the kind of influence that will permit the continued, if sometimes shaky, path that our system of capitalism is on, and the importance of corporate governance as a critical guidepost along the route.”

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