The Hot List, 2003

From entertainment and technology to politics and finance, these 50 top playersunder 40 represent our editors' picks

riverfront into a multi-use area to feature businesses, shops, a large state park, and residential units.
Mayor of Detroit Age: 33

Aaron McGruder
Comic Strip Creator Age: 29
Since its syndication in 1999, The Boondocks, a daily comic strip focusing on the lives of two young black boys living in white suburbia, has satirized everything from the policies of President George W. Bush to Black Entertainment Television. It has become one of the most successful comic strips ever, appearing in more than 350 news publications worldwide. McGruder recently inked several deals that will jettison his creation to new heights. The Boondocks has transcended print journalism and can be found on the covers of books, emblazoned as art on T-shirts, animated in a television pilot, and will eventually be projected onto the silver screen.

Kevin Liles
Record Company Executive Age: 35
Liles joined Def Jam Recordings in 1992 as an intern and today oversees the daily operations of DefJam/Def Soul Records, which features artists such as L.L. Cool J, Redman, and DMX. After becoming president at age 30 in 1998, he grew the label through joint ventures with Roc-A-Fella Records and Murder Inc. and the addition of Def Soul, the label’s R&B label. Such moves helped build the company into one of the industry’s biggest players.

Anna McGowan
Areospace R&D Program Manager Age: 33
Did you dream of space travel as a kid? McGowan lives that dream as program manager of the $12 million Morphing Program at NASA’s Langley Research Center. She leads dozens of researchers as they develop new “smart” materials for the next generation of spacecrafts. Some of these materials can respond intelligently to touch, while others can heal themselves when punctured, or restore themselves to their original shape.

Vanessa Morrison
Film Studio Executive Age: 34
In moviemaking, there are executives who bring in the material and develop it until it’s movie-ready. That’s when Morrison, senior vice president of Production of Twentieth Century Fox, comes in. “It’s my responsibility, along with other production executives, to shepherd the movie through the pre-production, production, and post-production process,” she says. She’s currently overseeing the live action/computer generated image film Garfield and Cheaper by the Dozen, starring Steve Martin.

Art Mbanefo
Investment Banker Age: 38
Mbanefo is a managing director of Credit Suisse First Boston, a leading global investment bank serving institutional, corporate, and individual clients. He also serves as global head of the firm’s prime banking department, which is comprised of the firm’s equity finance, securities prime brokerage and alternative capital areas. Mbanefo holds a degree in applied mathematics from the University of London and is a visiting lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dana “Queen Latifah” Owens
Actress & Entrepreneur Age: 33
Latifah is an entertainment conglomerate. The rapper-turned-actress earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, in 2003, for her role in Chicago. This year she starred in and co-executive produced the Disney comedy Bringing Down the House, which debuted at No. 1 at the box office, earned $31 million in one weekend, and $133 million total. Look for her in Barbershop 2 in 2004. She is currently filming the

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