Forbes also included the three female SCOTUS justices and Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named the world’s most powerful woman by Forbes for the sixth consecutive year. (MICHAEL SOHN/AP)
For the sixth consecutive year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named the world’s most powerful woman by Forbes. Merkel is also the reigning Time Person of the Year.
Merkel beat out Hillary Clinton, who the Associated Press declared the presumptive Democratic nominee for U.S. president on Monday. The former secretary of state finished second on the Forbes list.
“If there is a single leader able to defy existential economic and political challenges to the European Union, from edges and core, it has been German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” Forbes explained. “But her latest act may be the boldest. By opening Germany’s borders to over 1 million immigrants from Syria and other Muslim countries in the last several years, Merkel has decided to wield her power with the most curious of geopolitical strategies: sheer humanism.
Forbes said of Clinton, should she win the American presidency in November, she could likely move to the top spot.
“She remains the presumptive Democratic contender in the elections this fall, and her unflappable and tenacious pursuit of the country’s highest office keeps her at spot No. 2 on this year’s list, with a clear shot at number one if she wins the nation’s vote.” Forbes said of Clinton.
Clinton finished second in 2011 as well.
The Forbes list came out before the AP reported Clinton had secured the Democratic nomination Monday night. Rival Bernie Sanders contested that assessment. Clinton’s campaign argued Tuesday’s contests should conclude before making any calls on the race. Clinton believes she will be the eventual nominee, however, and AP’s finding makes Clinton likely the first female major party presidential nominee in history .
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was named the third most powerful woman in the world. Yellen is the first female Fed chair in history.
Businesswoman and philanthropist Melinda Gates — wife of world’s richest man Bill Gates – is fourth on the list. Rounding out the top five is Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. Barra is the first female GM CEO in history.
Time credited Merkel’s 2015 leadership in managing the European-Middle East refugee crisis and for her leadership in the Greek debt negotiations.
“Germany has spent the past 70 years testing antidotes to its toxically nationalist, militarist, genocidal past. Merkel brandished a different set of values—humanity, generosity, tolerance—to demonstrate how Germany’s great strength could be used to save, rather than destroy. It is rare to see a leader in the process of shedding an old and haunting national identity,” the magazine wrote.
Also ranked on the Forbes list are the IMF’s Christine Legarde (sixth), Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (seventh), and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (13th). U.S. Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor are tied for 23rd, and Queen Elizabeth II, now England’s longest-reigning monarch, comes in at 30th.