Birgie named one of the most powerful people in the world

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In 2007, former chancellor Robert Birgeneau forgave $31 million of Cal Athletics’ debt owed to the campus.

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What do Mark Zuckerberg, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Bashar al-Assad, Warren Buffett and our soon-to-be former chancellor all have in common? Not a whole lot, you’d think — except for power. Lots and lots of power. has come up with a list of the 500 most powerful people on Earth, and Birgie is right at the top of the list — though it is in alphabetical order. Because you need to be a member of the site to read the article (annoying, right?), we’ll give you a rundown of the criteria they considered. Noted as the top 0.000007% of the world, the finalists who made the list were measured by power in politics, bully pulpit (being in the eye of the public), military force, money, good, evil and brains.

As head of the No. 1 research university in the world, it’s no wonder Chancellor Birgeneau got on the list for his huge brains and equally large status. We aren’t sure how much longer Birgie will be able to stay on this list once he steps down, but with one more big experiment up his sleeve, we’re sure he’ll make good on this accolade for years to come. Congrats, Birgie!

Contact Chase Schweitzer at [email protected]