Who Rules America?  By G. William Domhoff, University of California at Santa Cruz

Power Elite Database

Explore the Power Elite in the U.S.

Data set:
Enter a person's name:
And/or the name of an organization/company:
Return which type of list?

(Click here to learn about the sources and versions of the data.)

There are four different kinds of searches you can do, each of which yields slightly different results.

  1. If you search for a person's name and set the results type to People, you will receive information on each person whose name matches the pattern you entered. This is a fairly simple search, but useful if you just want some basic information about a specific person.
  2. If you search for a person's name but ask for a list of Organizations, you'll get a list of organizations with which the person/people is affiliated -- along with the names of all the other people who are directors/trustees of those organizations.
  3. If you search for an organization and request a list of Organizations, this calls up the name of the organization(s), their ranking (if any) among organizations of its type, and a list of the names of the directors. As in the case of the first option above, this is fairly simple, but it is useful if you just want some basic information.
  4. If you search for an organization but set the results to People, you'll get a list of every person who's a board member of that organization -- along with all of the other organizations to which those people are connected. This is arguably the most powerful type of search.

The search results also display rankings for some individuals and organizations. For individuals, the number in parentheses after their names (if any) is their placement in the 2011 Forbes 400 list. For corporations, it's their 2010 Fortune 500 ranking. For think tanks, it's their ranking on GoToThinkTank.com's 2011 list. For foundations, it is their ranking by assets for 2011 (after company foundations of various types are eliminated). For universities, it's their ranking by endowment among U.S. and Canadian universities & colleges. There are no rankings for presidential advisory committees and commissions.