next assignment will be shooting the sequel, The Brazilian Job. AGE: 36
JASON HALL, Senior VP/Interactive Entertainment Whiz Kid WARNER BROS.
Why he’s hot: Jason Hall is the wizard behind movie-based video games like the Matrix Online and Harry Potter. A hot commodity in the gaming industry, he was tapped by Warner Bros. execs in 2004 to lead the company’s interactive entertainment group. Hall is managing more than 150 developers and heading up more than 20 projects, including the Friends 10th Anniversary Trivia Game and a video game inspired by Dirty Harry. A gamer and a technology buff himself, Hall started Monolith Productions at the age of 24. His company, which became wildly successful after it worked on a video game for Alien vs. Predator 2, was acquired last year by Warner Bros. AGE: 34
COREY HARWELL, Neuroscience PH.D. Student, MIT, DEPT. OF BRAIN & COGNITIVE SCIENCE AND THE PICOWER INSTITUTE FOR LEARNING AND MEMORY
Why he’s hot: Corey Harwell is conducting groundbreaking research that characterizes the function of a gene, cpg15 (Candidate Plasticity Gene), which can be used to support stem cell survival, “Our hope is that in the future, cpg15 could be used as a potential therapeutic target… to treat many diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” says Harwell. Through his research, published in Nature Nueroscience and the Journal of Nuerouerobiology, Harwell conducts basic science research, so all of the lab work has been done on animal models. “But the hope with all basic research is that the principals that we learn… can be applied to humans;” he says. AGE: 27
MELLODY HOBSON, President, ARIEL CAPITAL MANAGEMENT L.L.C.
Why she’s hot: Mellody Hobson manages the day-to-day operations of the largest black-owned mutual fund company in the country. No. 1 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list, Ariel has more than $20 billion in assets under management. Hobson is in the process of turning company employees into specialists. “We’ve spent a lot of time making individuals in the firm more and more focused on specific responsibilities,” she says. And Hobson is positioning the 23-year-old company for the future: “I’ve been doing a big project on how our company is structured and making sure that we’re well-positioned for the next 30 or 40 years, making sure we can get through all kinds of business and economic cycles.” AGE: 36
Harold Ford, Jr. U.S. Representative (D-Tenn.), Candidate for U.S. Senate
Why he’s hot: Well into his fifth term in office, Ford continues to gain political momentum. Last year, he was appointed by the Joint Forces Command to serve on the Transformation Advisory Group. He also sits on the powerful House Budget Committee and House Committee on Financial Services. Today, after nearly 10 years in the House, Ford has decided to run for the U.S. Senate seat of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in 2006. Why vacate a safe seat in the House for an uphill battle in the Senate? Ford has explained to his constituents that the biggest issues facing the country over the next decade or so will