The Rushmore Report: The 20 Most Powerful People in the World


There are nearly 7.4 billion people on planet Earth, but 74 men and women make the world turn. Forbes’ annual ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People identifies one person out of every 100 million whose actions mean the most. Hundreds of candidates were considered from various walks of life, and then measured along four distinct dimensions.

First, Forbes asked if the candidate had power over lots of people. Pope Francis (#5), for example, is the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics. Doug McMillon (#27) is the CEO of the world’s largest private employer, Walmart, with more than 2.3 million workers around the globe.

Second, financial resources were assessed. Third, diversity of power was considered. And finally, it was critical that the candidates actively used their power. To calculate the final rankings, a panel of Forbes editors ranked all of the candidates in each of these four dimensions of power, and those individual rankings were averaged into a composite score. This year’s list comes at a time of rapid and profound change, and represents their best guess about who will matter in the year to come.

For the fourth consecutive year, Russian President Vladimir Putin was ranked as the world’s most powerful person. But this was before President-elect Trump assumed office. There are several new names on the list.

So here they are – Forbes’ list of the most powerful people in the world. The top 20 follow . . .

1. Vladimir Putin – President of Russia

2. Donald Trump – President of the United States

3. Angela Merkel – Chancellor of Germany

4. Xi Jinping – General Secretary of the Communist Party of China

5. Pope Francis – Pope of the Roman Catholic Church

6. Janet Yellen – Chair of the Federal Reserve

7. Bill Gates – Chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

8. Larry Page – President of Alphabet

9. Nerendra Modi – Prime Minister of India

10. Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook

11. Mario Draghi – President of European Central Bank

12. Li Keqiang – Premier of China

13. Theresa May – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

14. Jeff Bezos – CEO of Amazon

15. Warren Buffet – CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

16. Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud – King of Saudi Arabia

17. Carlos Slim Helu – Chair of Grupo Carso

18. Ali Hoseini-Khamenci – Grand Ayatollah of Iran

19. Jamie Dimon – CEO of JPMorgan Chase

20. Benjamin Netanyahu – Prime Minister of Israel


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