11 John Elvidge
Down from 10
PERMANENT SECRETARY TO THE SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE
Elvidge earns his place in the top 20 for the third year running thanks to his position as Scotland's most powerful civil servant. Oxford-educated, he is a ferocious defender of civil service impartiality but has been unable to stem the growing numbers of highly paid, politically appointed 'special advisers' to the First Minister.
He sits on the Futures Forum, a committee of politicians, academics and business leaders, set up by the Executive to identify the challenges facing the nation and to stimulate debate on ways of meeting them.
His financial future is assured. Last year, it emerged he was one of 16 elite mandarins who would pick up a pension of up to 80,000 on retirement plus a one-off lump sum averaging 100,000.
12 David Milne
Up from 56
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, WOLFSON MICROELECTRONICS
At Insider Magazine's Scotland plc Awards this month, Milne was the star of the show, picking up industry gongs for heading Scotland's best plc and for being the country's best chief executive.
Milne was praised for his "outstanding leadership of the company from its small beginnings to its worldwide presence in a continually tough market". You may not realise it, but Edinburgh-based Wolfson's influence will be lurking quietly in your home inside gadgets such as Apple's iPod, Sony's PlayStation and any number of digital cameras. Profit margins tripled in a sparkling first quarter of 2006.
13 Geoff Ellis
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, DF CONCERTS
One man who can be sure of getting a ticket to T in the Park is Ellis. As chief executive of DF Concerts, he's the music promoter who's helped make the festival one of Europe's best. Having started off his career in Scotland promoting Glasgow venue King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Ellis has gone on to oversee some of the biggest gigs in Scotland, including Eminem, Radiohead and Robbie Williams. But the jewel in the crown is T in the Park. Tickets for this year's event sold out in under an hour and, in the absence of Glastonbury, it's this year's must-have ticket. The event is estimated to inject around 12m into the Scottish economy.
14 Anne Marie Harrison
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SCOTTISH INSTITUTE OF SPORT
A new top 20 entry for the woman credited with getting the fledgling Scottish Institute of Sport - and its athletes - noticed on the world stage. When the Scots team won 11 golds at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, it was Harrison and her team in Stirling who were given plaudits for nurturing some of the nation's brightest talent into medal winners. Although many of the athletes trained in England, many had passed through the institute's medical, nutritional, conditioning and coaching support programmes. A record 250 sportsmen and women are currently on its books as the country looks towards the London Olympics in 2012 and possibly Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Sadly Harrison will play no part as she is returning to her native Australia.
15 Bridget McConnell
Up from 18
DIRECTOR OF CULTURE AND SPORT, GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL
Bill (Clinton) may have his Hillary but Jack (McConnell) has his Bridget. The First Minister's wife has enjoyed a spectacular year that cements her reputation as one of Scotland leading public officials. In June, Glaswegians will get their first view of the 30m makeover of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum that has taken place on McConnell's watch. Last March, she jetted to Australia with the team hoping to persuade Commonwealth Games officials to host the event in Glasgow in 2014. She's also presided over the city's groundbreaking pledge to extend free swimming lessons for under-10s and give children at least one free trip to a theatre or museum a year.
16 Frank Hadden
HEAD COACH, SCOTTISH RUGBY TEAM
A year ago, the Scottish rugby team, under Australian coach Matt Williams, was the laughing stock of the Six Nations Championship. Cometh the hour, cometh the man in the shape of former schoolmaster Hadden, who turned the squad's fortunes around. Three wins out of five in this year's competition earned the players new respectability and the victory over England at an emotional Murrayfield was particularly sweet. Hadden gave the players - and the nation - new belief and brought sighs of relief from the Scottish Rugby Union, which had been facing the prospect of funding a magnificent stadium from dwindling gate money.
17 Harry Burns
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER FOR SCOTLAND
In his 12 years as director of public health in Glasgow, Dr Burns argued relentlessly that more funds should be steered into preventative medicine. His views have not changed as he spearheads a national drive to cure the nation's ills as Chief Medical Officer. Burns wants the emphasis switched from treating to preventing disease and is encouraging radical plans to flood deprived areas with specialist health workers. Five pilot programmes are already in place, in which GP practices have been handed 1m each to try to improve the health of local populations. Burns says: "We need to add money until we reach the point at which there is a level playing field for primary care in deprived areas."
18 Shonaig Macpherson
EXECUTIVE chairman, NATIONAL TRUST FOR SCOTLAND
It's a measure of the confidence of this solicitor from Ayrshire that she feels she can combine the previously separate roles of chairman and chief executive of Scotland's most revered conservation charity. She is in charge of a body that has 293,000 members, employs 500 people, owns 76,000 hectares of land and runs 128 properties visited by three million people every year. As part of her job, she will be expected to lobby for more public investment in Scotland's historical gems. Ministers are expected to listen. Despite its tweedy image, NTS is influential and respected in government circles.
19 Ian Marchant
Down from 12
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SCOTTISH AND SOUTHERN ENERGY
Marchant, head of the Perth-based powerhouse and one of the handful of Scots companies in the exalted FTSE 100 with a market capitalisation of 9.5bn, retains his place in the top 20 as a driving force for renewable energy technologies. SSE already produces a significant amount of energy from green sources through its hydro network in the Highlands, but its expansion into wind farms and solar energy continues apace. One of its Scottish wind farms recently became the first in the UK to produce 100 megawatts of energy, and Marchant has been advocating tax breaks for energy-efficient households. The only blip on the horizon is concerted opposition to plans to build a chain of huge pylons down the spine of Scotland.
20 James Crosby
Down from 5
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HBOS
Crosby tumbles out of the top 10 as in July he will retire from his powerful position. But the man who merged the Bank of Scotland with Halifax Building Society in 2001 leaves behind a growing organisation in robust financial health. Pre-tax profits are expected to be 5.2bn this year, up 8% from the 4.81bn reported in 2005. New chief-executive Andy Hornby will be left to deal with heavy and sustained criticism of poor service levels, particularly from BoS customers in Scotland. It remains to be seen whether major investment in 100 new branches and plans for colour-coded ATMs - green for free and red for those that charge - will silence the revolting natives.