and anxiety disorders. But her primary field of research is neuropharmacology—figuring out the effects of drugs on the neurological system. Her interdisciplinary training puts her on the cutting edge of research: she is a medical chemist with expertise in brain slice electrophysiology using techniques to understanding neuronal activity in both diseased and normal states. For her graduate work on epilepsy, Jones was awarded several fellowships including the nationally competitive UNCF/Merck Science Graduate Dissertation Fellowship.
Ronald Holt Jr., President & CEO / Hansberger Global Investors Inc. / 39. Why he’s hot: As president and CEO of Hansberger Global Investors Inc., Holt operates a global institutional money management firm with more than $10 billion in assets under management and outposts that serve customers from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Mumbai, India. Named to be’s 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street, he’s responsible for plotting the strategic direction of the firm, marketing its array of investment products, recruiting top talent, developing new markets, and managing portfolios.
Holt joined HGI in 1997 and has spent a decade building the technical and leadership skills required of a CEO of a major investment firm. “It took a lot of hard work, a lot of focus,” says Holt, “having a vision about this industry, this company.”
At the time he joined HGI, the company was at less than $1 billion in assets. He attributes the company’s growth to the solid performance of the investment teams, strength of global markets, sound marketing strategies, and great relationships with clients such as mutual fund companies Vanguard and Natixis as well as a number of major university endowment funds and foundations. “My hope is to grow global clients from all over the world.” says Holt. “A big part of our relationship with Natixis is accessing clients in Europe and other regions, specifically, China, India, Russia, and Brazil.” —Nadirah Sabir
Charles King. Senior Vice President, Agent / William Morris Agency / 38. Why he’s hot: He’s one of the top agents in Hollywood, known for negotiating multimillion-dollar deals and enriching his clients’ careers. King created the team that snagged music icon Prince in 2005 and he signed Janet Jackson earlier this year, adding her to his roster of hit makers including Tyler Perry, Terrence Howard, Andre Benjamin, Paula Patton, and Tyrese. As the player instrumental in helping Perry make the lucrative transition from theater to film, he’s structuring transactions that will propel the actor-producer’s flourishing entertainment empire. In fact, it was King who brokered Perry’s $200 million, 100-episode deal with TBS t
o bring Tyler Perry’s House of Payne to the small screen. He’s also behind the launch of the broadband video channel TylerPerry.com.
Beyoncé Knowles. Singer, Actress / 26. Why she’s hot: Knowles is a money-making triple threat. The 10-time Grammy Award winner’s latest album, B’Day, went triple platinum in the U.S., while her concert tour sold out at locations worldwide. She also expanded her acting credentials and commercial appeal with the musical Dreamgirls, which generated nearly $155 million in worldwide box-office receipts and earned her two Golden Globe Award nominations.