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Power Women

The World's 100 Most Powerful Women

Edited by Mary Ellen Egan and Chana R. Schoenberger , 08.19.09, 06:00 PM EDT


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Forbes' Power Women list isn't about celebrity or popularity; it's about influence. Queen Rania of Jordan (No. 75), for instance, is perhaps the most listened-to woman in the Middle East; her Twitter feed has 600,000 followers.

In assembling the list, Forbes looked for women who run countries, big companies or influential nonprofits. Their rankings are a combination of two scores: visibility--by press mentions--and the size of the organization or country these women lead.

At No. 1, for the fourth consecutive year, is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Up for reelection this September, she is leader of the world's fourth-largest economy. She faces a tough year: Germany's GDP is expected to shrink this year despite a small uptick in the second quarter. More ...

In Pictures: The World's 100 Most Powerful Women
The Most Influential Women In Media
Kiri Blakeley
Thirty of the biggest names in television, print and the Internet--with a few surprises.
In Pictures: The Most Influential Women In Media

More Than Just a Job
Carol Hymowitz
The world's most powerful women aren't waiting for permission to take their careers to the next level, they're doing it for themselves. And they're seeking much more than just a job.

Reflections On Power
ForbesWoman staff
Are you powerful? Nine female leaders in big business and influential nonprofits tell us what they think and why.

Women to Watch
Mary Ellen Egan
Keep an eye on these leaders: The next 12 months could be exciting--and terrifying.

'What You See Is What You Get'
Javier Espinoza
When she was made CEO of Kraft three years ago, Irene Rosenfeld initiated changes at the company that are now helping her steer the American food giant successfully through the downturn.

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg
Evan Hessel
She has overhauled Facebook and helped make it the most popular social network in cyberspace. Can she and her 25-year-old boss turn it into the Web's most lucrative data broker?

Building American Business In China
Heidi Brown
Ying Yeh is using her linguistic and relationship skills to bridge two very different countries and cultures.

Eyes On The Economy: Kirsten Gillibrand
Hannah Seligson
Kirsten Gillibrand is the youngest and second-newest member of the United States Senate, but she's already making waves championing the "green economy."

How To Take Smart Risks
Sara Eckel
Caution may seem like a wise course in a recession, but the smart risk takers among us just might have an edge. Learn to place your bet--and know when to walk away.
In Pictures: Is It Worth The Risk?

#12 Carol Bartz
Quentin Hardy
Can She Outsmart Microsoft And Google?
TOP 10
  1. Angela Merkel
  2. Sheila Bair
  3. Indra Nooyi
  4. Cynthia Carroll
  5. Ho Ching
  6. Irene Rosenfeld
  7. Ellen Kullman
  8. Angela Braly
  9. Anne Lauvergeon
  10. Lynn Elsenhans
  11. View The Complete List
Most Powerful Women Leaders
Why Angela Merkel, Sheila Bair and Indra Nooyi top the list.

Christine Lagarde's Mission
French minister takes on executive pay, hedge funds and the gender issue.

A Publishing Powerhouse
Wolters Kluwer CEO Nancy McKinstry on keeping up in a changing industry.
2008 Rankings

2007 Rankings

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