This list highlights the most powerful people in the world 2017, these people are from all works of life;
- Vladimir Putin
This is the man who does what he wants and gets away with impunity. He is ranked 1st by Forbes. Aged 63, Vladimir Putin is the President of Russia. Putin has been president since 2012. Before then, he was the prime minister between 1999 and 2000, president from 2000-2008, he 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.
The power of a head of state is determined both by the country’s strength and the capacity he or she has to exercise that power, unilaterally, unconstrained by other institutions, parties and political forces. And combining those two metrics, it’s easy to see why Vladimir Putin rises to the top of list. Putin has created what he calls a “vertical of power,” something unlike any we see in other great nations. As the Russian chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov — himself a harsh critic of Putin — has noted, the entire structure of Russian political power rests on one man. When the czar died, you knew the structure that would endure and the process by which his successor, his son, would be elevated. When the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party died, the Standing Committee and the Politburo would select his successor. But when Putin dies — I almost wrote if — what will happen? No one knows.
To understand Putin, you have to understand Russia. The last hundred years for that country have seen the fall of the monarchy, the collapse of democracy, the great depression, World War II with its tens of millions of Russians dead, Stalin’s totalitarian brutalities, the collapse of communism, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and Boris Yeltsin’s years of chaos and corruption. Then comes Vladimir Putin, who ushers in stability and, in popular perception, rising standards of living and increasing prominence and respect in the world. That respect is important. Russians have immense national pride. Russia is the largest country on the planet — 48 times larger than Germany and encompassing 11 time zones that straddle Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Russia is also a rich country, containing some of the largest deposits of raw materials, from oil and natural gas to nickel and aluminum. Culturally, it has often thought of itself as the third Rome, preserving Christianity even as Rome and Byzantium fell to the Barbarians. Putin understands Russia. But he also understands the world. He is not foolish enough to make a frontal assault on America or Europe. Instead, he knows how to use power asymmetrically, with cyber tools and disinformation.
- Donald Trump.
The presidency of Donald Trump began at noon EST on January 20, 2017, the day that Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, succeeding Barack Obama. Trump, a Republican, was a businessman from New York City at the time of his victory in the 2016 presidential election over Democrat Hillary Clinton. His running mate, former Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, took office as the 48th Vice President of the United States on the same day. Trump’s term in office is set to end on January 20, 2021, though he is eligible for election to a second term and has declared his intention to run.
During his first few months in office, as of May 2017, Trump has issued 36 executive orders and 25 presidential memoranda. The executive orders 13769 and 13780 dealing with denying admission to the US of people from several foreign countries have been blocked by federal courts. Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed by the United States Senate on April 7, 2017.
- Angela Merkel.
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 also has a doctorate in physical chemistry.
During the Revolutions of 1989, Merkel entered politics. She was 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.
- Xi Jinping.
Born in 1953, Beijing, China, Jinping is the 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.
- Pope Francis.
Pope Francis 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. He 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.
- 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 her 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 to stem unemployment and inflation.
- Bill Gates.
Bill Gates, a self-made billionaire, was born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington, US. He is a business magnate, philanthropist, 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.
- 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 billionaire with his net worth being $38.8 billion. He attended the University of Michigan. From there, he graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering. He is also a holder of a Masters Degree 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.
- Narendra Modi.
Born in 1950, Gujarat, India, Modi is the current Prime Minister of India. He assumed the position 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 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.
- Mark Zuckerberg.
He was born on May 14th, 1984 to Edward Zuckerberg, a dentist and Karen Kempner, a psychiatrist. He was brought up in New York, with three sisters. He was raised Jewish, and had his Bar Mitzvah at 13. Mark was an instant success in school, his incredible performance during high school earned him admission into Harvard University. He created a website in Harvard called Facemash which encouraged students to rate each other based on appearance. This caused several controversies in the university, the illegal use of photographs, and the fact that not all students liked the idea of being rated based on their appearance, it was also the most popular page on the University’s network. He was forced to shut down the website.
He turned the simple site into a personal directory for Harvard students, together with his friends, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes he launched Facebook. It grew phenomenally, and within the next year it scaled out to other colleges in the United States. First, it was the Ivy Leagues, then state schools, then every college and secondary school. Eventually, Facebook grew into a public service website that anyone can access, whether to network with friends and family, ply games or meet past colleagues. Today Facebook boasts of billions of users, it has become one of the world’s biggest online businesses and an icon of tech renaissance, the true value is debatable.