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MBAs at the Pinnacle of Political Power

Lawyers who pursue political careers are fairly common, but business leaders somewhat less so. Mitt Romney, who parlayed a career in private equity into a successful run as Massachusetts governor, is the exception that proves the rule. Ditto for Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg Businessweek parent Bloomberg L.P. and New York City's mayor since 2002.

Both Romney and Bloomberg launched their political careers after earning MBAs, in both cases from Harvard Business School. To find out just how many MBAs have ascended to prominent political positions, we searched the president's cabinet, Congress and all 50 state governors and turned up 34 former business school students.

Harvard is the only business school that has produced a U.S. President (George W. Bush) and it is the most frequently mentioned alma mater on our list with four alumni. The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, and the University of Detroit's Mercy business school are next with two alums each. The group is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and includes 21 representatives, seven senators, and the governors of Delaware, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, and West Virginia.

Note: This list is ordered by alma mater according to Bloomberg Businessweek's 2012 ranking of full-time MBA programs. Alumni from unranked schools are listed alphabetically.

Michael Novatkoski contributed to this report.

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