Chair, Care Quality Commission (2010 ranking: 22)

Dame Jo had to steer the CQC through stormy seas in 2011. She was justifiably nervous during a grilling from the health select committee, which concluded the regulator needed to be more prepared to challenge ministers.

It is hard to imagine anyone criticising Dame Jo’s predecessors Sir Ian Kennedy or Barbara Young for being overly timid, but the personable Dame Jo is not a divisive figure and adversarial verbal combat is not her style. Hopefully this more diplomatic approach will pay off in the long run as bigger squalls are on the horizon following a wave of care scandals that have led to even more scrutiny of the CQC.

If the regulation system is reviewed again in the wake of Southern Cross, Winterbourne View and the Francis inquiry, she at least has the credentials, across a number of sectors including local government, to play a key role in shaping the outcome.