50. Shan Cooper

Shan Cooper
Illustration by Alex Fine

Focus Defense, Business
Age 46
The first woman to oversee the Lockheed Martin plant in Marietta, vice president and general manager Shan Cooper is occasionally seen on the factory floor, chatting with the plant’s 6,300 employees who build C-130J cargo planes and the center wing assembly for the brand-new F-35 fighter jet. Going forward, she’ll have to work even harder as the company deals with defense budget cuts and lobbies to keep Dobbins Air Reserve Base safe from the next round of base closures in 2017.

Active member Cooper also serves on the boards of trustees of Emory University and the Woodruff Arts Center.

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This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.