Vijaya Gadde, 39
Indian-born Gadde has proved vital to Twitter’s efforts at international expansion. While over 70% of the social media company’s 271 million users are overseas, it’s been banned in multiple countries. When the Turkish government blocked Twitter last March, Gadde and her 90-person legal team filed lawsuits in local courts, eventually prevailing. Also on her list of recent milestones: helping steer the company through one of the most anticipated (and unlike Facebook’s, incident-free) initial public offerings in recent years. Gadde, the only woman on Twitter’s executive team, says the most important aspect of her job is allowing as much content to flow freely while respecting local laws. A graduate of Cornell undergrad and NYU’s law school, Gadde previously spent close to a decade at the Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.