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We show how genetic algorithms can be useful in enhancing the performance of clustering algorithms in mobile ad hoc networks. In particular, we optimize our recently proposed weighted clustering algorithm (WCA). The problem formulation along with the parameters are mapped to individual chromosomes as input to the genetic algorithmic technique. Encoding the individual chromosomes is an essential part of the mapping process; each chromosome contains information about the clusterheads and the members thereof, as obtained from the original WCA. The genetic algorithm then uses this information to obtain the best solution (chromosome) defined by the fitness function. The proposed technique is such that each clusterhead handles the maximum possible number of mobile nodes in its cluster in order to facilitate the optimal operation of the medium access control (MAC) protocol. Consequently, it results in the minimum number of clusters and hence clusterheads. Simulation results exhibit improved performance of the optimized WCA than the original WCA. Moreover, the loads among clusters are more evenly balanced by a factor of ten.