34. G.P. “Bud” Peterson

Illustration by Alex Fine
Illustration by Alex Fine

Focus Education, Science
Age 63
Georgia Tech’s 11th president oversees 21,500 students and $730 million in research expenditures—for which he is the highest-paid public college president in Georgia, with an annual salary of just over $1 million. Boasting a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, Peterson also has coauthored five books and is serving his second term as a presidential appointee to the National Science Board, which advises the federal government on specialized national policy.

Solid investment Under Peterson’s leadership, Georgia Tech was recently ranked number five on the Princeton Review’s list of “Colleges that Pay You Back—Without Aid.”

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This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.