World's Greatest Leaders

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These ­extraordinary men and women are transforming business, govern­ment, philanthropy, and so much more. Here, our second annual list. Read more about the list here.
RANK NAME TITLE AFFILIATION
1 Tim Cook CEO Apple
2 Mario Draghi President European Central Bank
3 Xi Jinping President People's Republic of China
4 Pope Francis Pontiff Catholic Church
5 Narendra Modi Prime Minister India
6 Taylor Swift Pop Star Big Machine Records
7 Joanne Liu International President Medecins Sans Frontieres
8 John Roberts Jr. Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court
9 Mary Barra CEO General Motors
10 Joshua Wong Activist Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Movement
11 Johnetta Elzie and DeRay McKesson Prominent voices for nonviolent protest Ferguson, Mo.
12 Jeremy Farrar Director Wellcome Trust
13 James Comey Director FBI
14 Ai-Jen Poo Director National Domestic Workers Alliance
15 Mark Carney Governor Bank of England
16 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf President Liberia
17 Howard Schultz Chairman and CEO Starbucks
18 Bill and Melinda Gates Founders Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
19 Pete Frates Advocate ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge"
20 Mike Duggan and Kevyn Orr Mayor and Former Emergency Manager Detroit
21 Helena Morrissey CEO Newton Investment Management
22 Beatrice Mtetwa Lawyer Human rights activist in Zimbabwe
23 Elon Musk Co-Founder and CEO Tesla Motors and SpaceX
24 Tri Rismaharini Mayor Surabaya, Indonesia
25 Mark Zuckerberg Founder and CEO Facebook
26 Yao Ming Animal rights activist and former NBA star NBA (Retired)
27 Jeff Bezos Founder and CEO Amazon.com
28 Kailash Satyarthi Founder Bachpan Bachao Andolan
29 Lei Jun Founder and CEO Xiaomi
30 Bayan Mahmoud Al-Zahran Lawyer Saudi Arabia
31 Lebron James Forward Cleveland Cavaliers
32 Mark Bertolini CEO Aetna
33 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Finance Minister Nigeria
34 Raj Panjabi CEO Last Mile Health
35 Adm. William McRaven (Ret.) Chancellor University of Texas
36 Carolyn Miles President and CEO Save the Children
37 Frances Hesselbein President and CEO Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute
38 Jamie Dimon Chairman and CEO JPMorgan Chase
39 Anthony Fauci Director NIAID (NIH)
40 Patrick Awuah Founder and President Ashesi University College
41 Mitch Daniels President Purdue University
42 Richard Pazdur Director FDA's Office of Hematology and Oncology Products
43 Courtney Banghart Head Coach Princeton Tigers Women's Basketball Team
44 Travis Kalanick CEO Uber
45 Jimmy Fallon Host The Tonight Show
46 Daniel Barenboim General Music Director Berlin State Opera
47 Adam Silver Commissioner NBA
48 Richard Liu Founder and CEO JD.com
49 John Mackey Co-CEO, Co-Founder Whole Foods Market
50 Akira Miyawaki Director Japanese Center for International Studies in Ecology
5

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister, India
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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Photograph by Kevin Frayer — Getty Images

Modi rode to victory in elections last year on a wave of economic dissatisfaction. But while many reformers before him have talked a good game, Modi has actually begun to deliver on his promises—making genuine progress in his efforts to make India more business-friendly and less regulated, addressing violence against women, improving sanitation, and patching up relations with other Asian countries and the U.S.  There is, to be sure, a long way to go. Fully achieving any of his goals will require reforming India’s powerful, widely corrupt bureaucracy. But he has put the bureaucrats on notice while taking action where he can—for example, by substantially increasing allowable foreign investment in the insurance industry. And in greatly simplifying the procedure for getting a visa to visit India, he has symbolically lowered the status of bureaucrats and raised that of potential outside investors. Modi still faces such huge challenges as privatizing India’s vast portfolio of state-owned businesses and deregulating labor markets.
 
But simply by declaring those as goals, he has seized control of the national agenda and sent a message that it’s time for all of India—not just its infotech services sector—to join the 21st century. The IMF and other forecasters now believe India will be growing faster than China in a year or two.

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