1- Xi Jinping
The Chinese premier topped the list after the Chinese congress amended its constitution in March to scrap the term limits and strengthen his grasp on the country’s only political party. Forbes described Xi Jinping as “a cult of personality not seen since Chairman Mao (Zedong).”
2- Vladimir Putin
Putin has been the most powerful man in Russia for almost two decades. He was named the world’s most powerful person for four consecutive years (2013-2016). But this year, he has dropped to the second spot. Vladimir Putin was recently re-elected as the President of Russia for a fourth term with a staggering 77% of the vote. Forbes said Putin has “exerted his country’s influence around the world.” Putin’s international influence is largely due to Europe’s heavy reliance on Russian oil and gas.
3- Donald Trump
Apparently, the US President is less powerful than his Chinese and Russian counterparts. The publication said Trump has seen limited success pushing his agenda, even though the US Congress is controlled by his own party. He is under investigation by multiple agencies and has been at the center of multiple scandals. The FBI is investigating whether his election campaign had links with Russia during elections.
Anyway, Trump is one of the world’s top 10 most powerful people because he is still the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most powerful military and economic power.
4- Angela Merkel
The 63-year-old German chancellor is the “de facto leader of Europe,” says Forbes. She became the first woman chancellor of Germany in 2005, and is currently serving her fourth term after a hard-fought election.
5- Jeff Bezos
Bezos is currently the world’s richest man with a net worth of $132 billion. The founder and CEO of Amazon.com is also transforming space travel through his company Blue Origin. Amazon.com’s market value is even higher than Walmart, and Amazon is currently the second largest employer in the United States.
6- Pope Francis
Pope Francis is on a mission to transform the Roman Catholic Church’s conservative image, says Forbes. He is the spiritual leader to more than a billion people worldwide. The Pope fully deserves to be on the list of the world’s top 10 most powerful people. He has been advocating better treatment of refugees and climate change reforms.
7- Bill Gates
With a net worth of close to $92 billion, Bill Gates is the 7th most powerful person on the planet. He runs Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife Melinda, and still sits on the board of Microsoft. Gates has been working with different organizations to eliminate polio, improve global health, and save lives.
8- Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud
The 32-year-old Saudi price has consolidated power in an incredibly short span of time. Though his father is the king of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is the one who has “taken control of the country.” He has launched several reforms since last year. Forbes describes him as the “fulcrum around which the Middle Eastern geopolitics moves for the next generation.”
9- Narendra Modi
The Indian prime minister is the 9th most popular person on the planet. Forbes says Modi “remains hugely popular” in India despite his November 2016 decision to eliminate 86% of the country’s banknotes. The demonetization was aimed at reducing corruption and money laundering, though it affected the daily lives of more than a billion people for months. Modi has also “raised his profile as a global leader” in the last few years. He is playing a key role in the international effort to tackle climate change and global warming.
10- Larry Page
Page has a net worth of nearly $50 billion. The co-founder of Google is known for inventing the PageRank algorithm that is at the core of the world’s most powerful search engine. He was awarded the Marconi Prize in 2004.
Forbes said it considers hundreds of people from across the globe while compiling the list. The publication measures an individual’s power based on their financial resources, how many people they can influence, whether they actively use their power, and whether they are powerful in multiple spheres.
This year’s list included 17 new names including Jerome Powell (11), the chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Darren Woods (34), the CEO of Exxon Mobil. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is the 36th most powerful person on the planet