When the governor latches on to a major regional infrastructure project, much of the planning and political strategizing has already been done by local officials and advocates. When politicians tout New York’s vibrant high-tech research sector, it is thanks to business leaders and academics who are driving the creation of good jobs. And when lawmakers hold press conferences to announce new legislation, they’ve often relied on lobbyists and consultants to build support and get it across the finish line.

Many of the individuals who carry out these tasks behind the scenes are not elected, but they are often just as powerful as the officials that are voted into office. In this list, we put the spotlight on these behind-the-scenes players – “the Influentials” – of Long Island.

RELATED: 25 Manhattan influencers you need to know

RELATED: 25 Brooklyn influencers you need to know

RELATED: 25 Queens influencers you need to know

In Long Island you’ll meet political consultants whose reach extends beyond the region, campaign donors who are having an impact on the national stage and government officials who are determining how taxpayer dollars are spent. We recognize their acumen and their achievements.

– Five Long Island business influencers you need to know.
– Five Long Island education and research influencers you need to know.
– Five Long Island government influencers you need to know.
– Five Long Island lobbying and consulting influencers you need to know.
– Five Long Island nonprofit influencers you need to know.