Special Section: 50 Faces for America's Future

It has become an almost universal complaint that the tribe of leaders has died out. That is true in one sense:

those Olympian figures who dominated earlier decades of the century are gone. But leadership has not vanished; its character has changed. So have the styles and opportunities of leaders, along with the perspectives, needs and expectations of the led.

Despite new hazards and constraints, there is no shortage of talent; leaders are continuing to emerge across the U.S.

Here and on the following pages, TIME identifies some of them. The 200 young leaders of five years ago...