Merkel tops Forbes list of powerful women; Clinton No. 2

Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:08am EDT
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By Lily Kuo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Forbes magazine ranked German Chancellor Angela Merkel the most powerful woman in the world for the second year in a row in the annual list dominated by politicians, businesswomen and media figures.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton placed second, followed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, making the top three spots unchanged from last year.

The list named women involved in policymaking, entertainment, technology and nonprofit organizations, among other fields. They were ranked according to influence, the amount of money they control or earn, and media presence.

"These power women exert influence in very different ways and to very different ends, and all with very different impacts on the global community," said Moira Forbes, president and publisher of ForbesWoman.

The magazine noted Merkel's resolve in preserving the European Union and her influence over the euro zone's ongoing debt crisis.

Clinton was applauded for her handling of crises such as the release of a trove of diplomatic cables by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

Forbes cited Rousseff for her leadership of the world's eighth-largest economy and approval ratings within her country.

The average age of the 100 power brokers from 28 countries was 55. They had a combined 90 million Twitter followers, Forbes said.   Continued...

Visitors surround German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) during open house day at the Chancellery in Berlin, August 19, 2012. REUTERS/Thomas Peter