In the CoinDesk ranking of "most influential" people "in Bitcoin and Blockchain" allegedly determined through a reader vote, dark horse candidate Brian Forde won by coming in second only to obligatory first place winner Satoshi Nakamoto (archived). Forde is the director of MIT's Digital Currency Initiative, the Ford Edsel (archived) of organizations orbiting and trying to subvert Bitcoin.
Forde's tenure at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative precedes that of Gavin Andresen by only a week with Forde arriving on April 15th while Gavin joined up a week later. Prior to arriving in this corner of the MIT Media lab Forde worked in the White House for the Hussein Bahamas administration where as per his MIT biography:
In his role at the White House, Forde was responsible for determining how the Obama administration would leverage open data and technology to address national priorities. These priorities included crowdsourcing, the sharing economy, and innovation prizes and challenges to address issues including Hurricane Sandy, climate change, and the revitalization of Detroit. A passionate advocate for diversity in tech, Forde formed the White House Tech Inclusion and TechHire Initiatives, bringing together leaders from the technology community, large corporations, and advocacy groups to support the hiring and training of more women and minorities in tech.
He worked for the same administration which declared war on computing, promoted linkrot, and after Forde had departed for MIT would take President Bahamas to Alaska so he could engage in romantic encounters with the local salmon. In joining the Bahamas administration Forde left his Nicaraguan VOIP startup Llamadas S.A. to earn a salary somewhere on a federal pay scale.
Forde and MIT's involvement in Bitcoin thus far consists almost entirely of a social engineering and infiltration effort beginning with the indoctrination of students in the "merits" of various scams and highlighted by the sacrifice of the MIT Technology Review's credibility in a gambit to push through the ill fated XTCoin fork. Reports suggest they will promote further campaigns to promote breaking Bitcoin consensus. This is publically evidenced by their agent Gavin Andresen's push to do the segregated witness thing pushed by some other stooges, but to implement it as a contentious hardfork.
Given his poor track record in influencing much of anything during his first eight months in office, it would be a stretch to accuse Forde of influencing much of anything in 2015. Expect Forde to become a more prominent face of the ongoing fiat efforts to subvert Bitcoin as 2016 comes.