Three BU Alums Recognized in 2023 Time 100 Lists
Karen Lynch, Alexandra Cooper, and Kristina Dahl are among the powerful changemakers or rising leaders
The accolades keep coming for Karen Lynch.
Lynch (Questrom’99), president and CEO of CVS, was number one on Fortune magazine’s 2021 Most Powerful Women in Business (she had made that list in previous years). Now, she’s landed a spot on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list. Category: Titans.
The Time list honors the year’s most powerful changemakers (and sometimes noisemakers) across the cultural spectrum. Kenneth C. Frazier, executive chair of Merck and Time 100 writer, writes that Lynch is remarkable for her “authenticity, candor, and drive to make a positive and profound difference.” He points to her leadership prowess: on Lynch’s watch, CVS became one of the nation’s top administrators of COVID-19 vaccines, both in stores and at long-term care facilities. Lynch has also been the driving force behind CVS efforts to combat the “pink tax” by cutting prices on CVS-brand period products.
For Lynch, Frazier writes, “executive leadership means seizing opportunities to help others—including the underserved and the overlooked—and finding new ways for private industry to serve the greater good.”
Lynch is one of three Boston University alums who appeared on this year’s Time lists.
Podcaster and media exec Alexandra Cooper (CGS’15, COM’17) and climate scientist Kristina Dahl (CAS’99) made the 2023 Time 100 Next list, a celebration of rising leaders in the arts, sciences, sports, business, and more. Each honoree receives a write-up from an established figure in their industry—a move designed to “pay tribute to those who are following in their footsteps,” Time says.
Cooper (who also made the 2022 Forbes annual 30 Under 30 list) is the host and producer of the mega-popular podcast Call Her Daddy. She reportedly negotiated a $60 million–plus licensing deal with Spotify for the podcast, which is a font of life advice, thoughtful celebrity interviews—actor-activist Jane Fonda called Cooper “one of the best interviewers” she’d ever had—and regular viral moments.
“If you haven’t tuned into her hit show, then you’re missing out on some next-level entertainment,” comedian Chelsea Handler writes in Time. “Alex fearlessly dives into the corners of the human psyche with her razor-sharp wit and unmatched storytelling skills. She’s like Nancy Drew on steroids, minus the collared dresses.”
Dahl is principal climate scientist for the climate and energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Her work, which focuses on the effects of climate change on humans and their environments, combines research with advocacy. Dahl’s blog reports succinctly explain the science behind topics like wildfires and extreme heat and offer solutions that both policymakers and the public can follow.
“Those worrying most over climate have long lamented that its impacts are too diffuse to appreciate and too distant in the future to really motivate people,” writes environmental journalist David Wallace-Wells. “In recent years, the weather itself has rewritten those rules. But so has Dahl’s work: on extreme heat, sea-level rise, and the evacuation complications of compound disasters.
“These days, even the most informed among us can feel like they are navigating a terrifying future without a map. Dahl provides one. And then another, and then another.”