Who? Ahmed Bedier, 33, is the executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Sphere of influence: Bedier heads up the second-largest CAIR group in the nation. The media regularly quotes him on Muslim-related events, and religious groups frequently tap him for educational lectures on Islam. Bedier also co-hosts True Talk, a weekly radio program that covers Arab and Muslim issues on 88.5 WMNF.
How he makes a difference: Since becoming a CAIR director in 2003, the Egyptian-born Bedier has acted as the voice of Muslims locally and across the state. He has built relationships between other religious leaders and civil rights activists. Evens critics praise Bedier for his willingness to enter into dialogue on sensitive issues. (READ MORE)