On January 11th, just days after successfully regaining their position as speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi posed for the cover of Rolling Stone with three resilient members of the congressional freshman class: Jahana Hayes, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Despite chatter that incoming liberals would clash with the old guard, they all voted for her in the end and became strong supporters. “There was no sense that these were women who didn’t get along,” says Catriona Ni Aolain, Rolling Stone’s director of creative content, who produced the shoot with photographer Zoey Grossman. “I felt no tension or weird energy. The whole thing was very convivial.”
Now that Pelosi wields the speaker’s gavel, the House can launch serious investigations into the Trump administration and hold hearings on climate change and gun control, making the speaker the most powerful women in the history of the country. She’s also the perfect cover subject for Rolling Stone’s Women Shaping the future issue, which features interviews with leaders and visionaries across politics, music, TV, film science, tech and more.
Despite the political and cultural upheaval in our country right now, the message we took away from these interviews is one of hope and promise. As Tessa Stuart says about interviewing Pelosi, “There was something deeply reassuring about sitting in the speaker’s office, the House of Representatives’ center of power, across from Nancy Pelosi. You got the sense — for the first time in years — that there was someone in control, and things were going to be OK.”