To become powerful, you must have immense influence among the people. Forbes published a list of the prominent individuals in the world in 2017. The list has all types of characters from those who own business empires. Also, the politicians who actions have had significant impacts. Vladimir Putin emerged position one as his rating continues to rise. President Obama’s popularity has continued to diminish. This is his last term in office nears the end. Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has found his way in the most popular persons. His reforms have transformed India in the two years he’s been in power. Now, here is the list of the most influential people in 2017 according to Forbes.
1. Vladimir Putin
This is the man who does what he wants and gets away with impunity. He was ranked 1st by Forbes. Aged 63, Vladimir Putin is incumbent president of Russian Federation. Putin has been president since 2012. Before then, he was the prime minister between 1999 and 2000. He later became prime minister again from 2008 to 2012. He was the chair of the ruling party, United Russia as prime minister from 2008 to 2012. Between 1970 and 1975, Putin attended Saint Petersburg State University where he studied law.
He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in to join politics in 1991 in his home Saint Petersburg. In 1996, he moved to Moscow to join the administration of President Boris Yeltsin. He managed to rise quickly through the ranks to become the acting president in 1999. The following year, Putin won the election beating Gennady Zyuganov. In 2004, he won again with 72% of the votes. The economy of Russia grew for eight straight years under the presidency of Putin.
Russia’s economy started to experience difficulties following falling in prices of oil. Still due to the sanctions imposed by Western Nations. The sanctions against Russia came about after his administration seized Crimea. Also, Russia got punished due to his military intervention in Ukraine. His approval ratings have not suffered any bit reaching an all-time high of 89%. He is also behind the bombing of ISIS. Later, he met with President Assad. The action appears to have made NATO and US seem weak. The influence of Russia has continued to rise abroad under his administration.
2. Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel ranked position two on Forbes. She is the most dominant woman in the world of 2017. Angela was born in 1954. She is the sitting Chancellor of Germany a position she has held since 2005. Merkel has been the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000. She earned a doctorate in physical chemistry.
During the Revolutions of 1989, Merkel entered politics. She was also the deputy spokesperson for the East German Government in 1990. In 1991, Merkel got elected as Minister for Women and Youth. The Chancellor then was Helmut Kohl. Later, in 1994, she became the Minister for the Environment. In 1998 after the defeat of Kohl, Merkel became the Secretary General of CDU. A donation scandal involving Wolfgang Schauble favored Merkel. She became the CDU first woman party leader. Merkel became Chancellor upon appointed after the Federal elections held in 2005. Again, she won the 2013 election by a landslide, having 41.5% of the votes cast.
In 2007, Merkel became the 2nd woman to become president of the European Council. Also, she was the chairperson of G8. Moreover, Merkel has played a critical role in negotiations regarding the Treaty of Libson. What’s more, the Berlin Declaration. Single-handedly, she has offered solutions to problems faced by her constituents. Merkel has managed to take her country through a recession. She provided credit facilities for those companies cutting hours for employees. She also convinced Greece and Spain to consider Germans’ fiscal and legal logic. Germany ushered 2017 with a budget surplus of 12.1 billion Euros. Recently, she opened the German borders. That would allow over 1 million immigrants from Syria and other Muslim nations. This humanitarian act has earned her accolades.
3. President Obama
Born in 1962, Barack Obama is the 44th president of United States. He set a record to become the first African-American to become president of the US. Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Obama attended Columbia University as well as Harvard Law School. He studied Bachelor of Arts Science at Columbia University. When in college, he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. Even before earning his law degree, he was a Community Organizer in Chicago. He taught law at University of Chicago Law School. Obama has also worked as a civil rights attorney between 1994 and 2004.
In 2004, he got elected to the Senate representing Illinois. He became president of the US in 2009 after defeating John McCain on the Democratic Party ticket. Nine months into his presidency, Obama got clowned with the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Among the major achievement of President Obama is the health insurance cover. His government signed the health bill. As a result, healthcare has become affordable. Over 17 million people are now covered according to Obama. The administration of Obama maintains that the economy of US has performed well. Over 13 million jobs were created over a period of 69 months. Also, the rate of unemployment fell by 5%. Obama has also brought more Unity and a sense of belonging by the slogan ‘The American People’. America remains a superpower.
Despite all those achievements, the popularity of Obama has diminished to a great extent. The approval ratings at home have shrunk to under 50%.
4. Pope Francis
He was born in 1936 in Argentina. But his parents named him Jorge Mario Bergoglio. His is the current Pope of The Roman Catholic Church. He became the 266th Pope in 2013 and the first from America. Pope Francis replaced Pope Benedict XVI after his resignation as pope. Pope is the Bishop of Roman and the Sovereign of the Vatican City. From 1973-79, he served as Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina. Earlier, he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998. The pope has faced some accusations too. He gave for two of his priests to the National Reorganization Process during the Dirty War. Later, all allegations against him were removed.
In 2001, John Paul II ordained him as a cardinal. Pope Francis efforts to change the face of the Roman Catholic Church are notable. He attended Congress in the US to address the issues of climate change and immigration. Also, he spoke about the fate of Christians and non-Christians suffering in the Middle East. He has also visited inmates in a Philadelphia. Also, he went to console the victims of priestly sexual abuse. He is humble and has great compassion for the poor. He also fights for human rights especially the women’s rights.
5. Xi Jinping
Born in 1953, Beijing, China, Jinping is the incumbent president of China. He is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. He also chairs the Central Military Commission. Xi is an ex-officio member of the Politburo Standing Committee. The committee is a top decision-making body in China. Xi also chairs the newly formed National Security Commission. He is also the chair of other steering committees on economic and social reforms. Further, he is the chair in commissions for military reforms and the internet.
From 1999 to 2002, Xi served as Governor of Fujian. Between 2002 and 2007, he served both as the Party Committee Secretary. At the same time, he was the Governor of Zhejiang. Xi has led an anti-corruption campaign. The campaigns resulted in the arrest of Xu Caihou, and Zhou YongKang. He is a paramount leader and has become one of the most influential Chinese Rulers. Xi has changed the thinking of the conservative Chinese through reforms. Additionally, he is bold enough to allow the media to capture some of his daily activities. During his leadership, China has investments in almost all part of the world. His meeting with the US and UK leaders led to business deals worth $46 billion.
6. Bill Gates
Bill Gates, a self-made billionaire, was born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington, US. He is a business magnate, philanthropist, an investor, programmer and an entrepreneur. In 1975, he cofounded Microsoft together with Paul Allen. Microsoft OS later became the largest PC software in the world. Gates has served as Chairman, CEO and as chief software architect at Microsoft. Until 2014, he was the individual primary shareholder of the company. Gates has featured in the Forbes list of the wealthiest people in the world since 1987. Bill is currently the richest person in the world with a net worth of 78.3 billion dollars. He has appeared first several times. But he has faced criticism over his business tactics considered anti-competitive.
During his career at Microsoft, he has assumed charitable acts. He has donated large sums of money. Bill & Melinda Foundation was launched in 2000. Through it, various charitable and research institution have benefited. At the Forbes Philanthropic Summit, his showcased chicken coops. The goal was to show how such a business could transform the lives of the disadvantaged in the society. In South Africa, he gave a lecture and promised to invest $5 billion in Africa the next five years.
Gates decided to step down as the CEO of Microsoft in 2000. He assumed the position of chief software architect. But in 2006, he transitioned to work at Bills & Melinda Foundation full time and part time at Microsoft. Later in 2014 he stepped down as chairperson and assumed a new position as technology advisor. He aimed to support the new CEO, Satya Nadella. Other than his 2.5% stake at Microsoft, he has a stake in Deere & Co and Redmond.
7. Janet Yellen
She was born in 1943 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, US. She is a great economist. Yellen acquired a degree in economics from Pembroke College at Brown University. She also pursued her Ph.D. from Yale University. From 1971-76, Yellen taught at Harvard as an assistant professor. Later, between 1978 and 1980, she was a lecturer at The London School of Economics. Now, she is a teacher at the University of California. She has received accolades twice in her career in teaching business and economics.
During the tenure of President Bill Clinton, Yellen was one of the Council of Economic Advisors. From1994-1997, Yellen was a member of Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She is the former vice president of the American Economic Association. Now, she is the president of the Western Economic Association International. For six years till 2010, Yellen served as President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Through here efforts and unshakeable opinions throughout the year 2015, interest rates got raised. There are speculations that they may rise even more. That is the first time since 2006. The aim was stem unemployment and inflation.
8. David Cameron
David Cameron has served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for six years since 2010. He was born in 1966 in London, England, UK. After serving for 6 years, he resigned as prime minister in July 2017 after the UK voted to leave EU. Theresa May succeeded him. He has served as the leader of the Conservative Party since 2005 until he quit politics. Cameron has been a proponent of liberal policies, both economic and social. He attended Eton and Brasenose College, Oxford. Between 1988 and 1993, Cameron worked at the Conservative Research Department.
He later left politics in 1994 to work for Carlton Communications. David became an MP in 2001 and served in the opposition shadow cabinet under Michael Howard. In 2005, he succeeded Howard. Following the 2010 general election, Cameron became prime minister. He became the head of the coalition government with Liberal Democrats. After, 23 years he managed to preside over the country’s only conservative majority government. His administration brought changes in welfare, immigration policies, education, and health. Cameron is very popular on Twitter, with over 834,000 followers. He is also fond of selfies with prominent people like Barack Obama.
9. Narendra Modi
Born in 1950, Gujarat, India, Modi is the current Prime Minister of India. He assumed the position as prime minister in 2014. Modi is the leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He also served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. In 2014, his party BJP clinched the majority in Lok Sabha. That was the first time since the general elections in 1984. During his two years as prime minister, Modi has proven to perform well. His administration has plans started projects to reform and modernize India’s infrastructure. He has also made efforts to reduce red tape in the government operations. Also, Modi has brought changes in the health and sanitation.
At the same time, he has improved international relations. He has made visits with President Obama and Xi Jinping. In his first year as PM, India realized a 7.4% GDP growth. He has a performance track record for development in Gujarat serving as Chief Minister. But he has faced accusation for failing to prevent the Gujarat’s riots in 2002.
10. Larry Page
Born in 1973, Larry Page is the CEO of Alphabet Inc., Google’s Parent Company. He was born in California, US. He is a Computer Scientist and an internet entrepreneur. Page is a self-made billion with his net worth being $38.8 billion. He attended the University of Michigan. From there, she graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering. He is also a holder of a master’s in Computer Science from Stanford University.
Larry Page together with Sergey Brin founded Google Inc in 1998. In 2001, he stepped aside as CEO for Eric Schmidt but resumed as CEO in 2011. Page is also behind the PageRank, a search ranking algorithm of Google. He also received the Marconi Prize in 2004. Other than Alphabet, Page also heads Calico. Calico is a healthcare division, and Nest a smart home appliance division. Until the forming of Alphabet in 2015, Page was the CEO of Google. Alphabet outperformed Apple as the most valuable company in Dec 2015. It posted excellent results.
The list of the most influential people is subject to change. More and more public figures are making their extraordinary deeds felt. Philanthropy, real leadership, innovation and being infamous; all determine the ranking. Stay tuned for the next list.