Shota Nakajima. Photograph: Carlton Canary  

For a fleeting moment early in 2020, Seattle seemed powerless. A lethal virus, circulating for weeks undetected, with no cure in sight? Time to turn off our sun lamps and throw on Pearl Jam’s “Black.” Instead, in the nearly two years since Covid-19 arrived here, the city has leaned on its political, cultural, technological, and scientific might to crush curves and summon a more resilient path forward. Influence has revealed itself in both traditionally overlooked cliques (infectious disease doctors, who knew!) and the usual suspects (hello, tech titans). In this latest iteration of Seattle life, their power can be seen all around us.

In This Feature:

100 of the Most Influential People in Seattle

Our full list of politicians, chefs, scientists, athletes, housing advocates, and other local leaders who made the cut in 2021.

12/09/2021 By Angela Cabotaje, Benjamin Cassidy, Sophie Grossman, Zoe Sayler, Allecia Vermillion, and Allison Williams

10 of the Most Influential People in Seattle Food and Drink

Shota Nakajima, Mark and Brian Canlis–the chefs, wine pros, and powerhouse cookbook authors who shape Seattle's bar and restaurant landscape.

12/09/2021 By Allecia Vermillion

The Most Influential People in Seattle Politics

Pramila Jayapal, Girmay Zahilay, and Jay Inslee are among the local leaders who have shaped Washington State most profoundly.

12/09/2021 By Benjamin Cassidy

The Most Influential People in Seattle Arts

From Brandi Carlile to Don Mee Choi and Marco Collins, this city is shaped by many an author, artist, musician, and record producer.

12/09/2021 By Sophie Grossman

10 of Seattle's Most Influential Thinkers

Ijeoma Oluo, Robin DiAngelo, and Kate Starbird are among the academics, authors, and activists who shift our ideas.

12/09/2021 By Benjamin Cassidy and Sophie Grossman

8 of the Most Influential People in Seattle Fashion

The mind behind Nordstrom's Pop-In shops, the keeper of Seattle fashion history, and other style mavens who give our city an underappreciated look.

12/09/2021 By Zoe Sayler

The Most Influential People in Seattle Tech and Business

Satya Nadella, Andy Jassy, and Tom Alberg are among the entrepreneurs and financial backers who stimulate the Emerald City's job market.

12/09/2021 By Benjamin Cassidy

The Most Influential People in Seattle Neighborhoods

Colleen Echohawk and Rich Barton are among the housing advocates and real estate titans who shape the city, from covered patios to Climate Pledge arena.

12/09/2021 By Benjamin Cassidy

The Most Influential Scientists, Doctors, and Environmentalists in Seattle

Seattle doctors, health care researchers, and climate change policymakers shaping our world.

12/08/2021 By Angela Cabotaje

The Most Influential People in Seattle Sports, Travel, and Recreation

Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe, and Rick Steves are among the athletes, adventure-seekers, and transit buffs who guide the way we move.

12/09/2021 By Benjamin Cassidy and Allison Williams

Seattle's Famous, and Not-So-Famous, Philanthropists

The donations of Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, MacKenzie Scott, and Jeff Bezos are scrutinized around the world. Can you name other rich Seattleites?

12/09/2021 By Benjamin Cassidy