Denise Bode.Denise Bode
CEO, American Wind Energy Association

Denise Bode has dubbed herself the energy industry’s “poster child for change.” Descended from a long line of wildcatters, the 57-year-old Oklahoman served for seven years as the president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America before becoming CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “I’ve moved from the finite energy resources to the infinite,” she says. Bode’s job is to lure new wind manufacturing facilities to the U.S. and persuade lawmakers to back policies that support the industry’s growth. Despite the uphill battle against subsidized fossil fuels, wind accounted for 35 percent of all new power generation installed in the U.S. last year. And the technology is rapidly getting more sophisticated: A wind turbine built today can generate 15 times more power than a standard turbine built in 1990. “As I see it,” says Bode, “I’m one of the chief economic development officers of the United States. We’re creating not just a brand new industry, but one with inexhaustible potential.”