Merkel Tops Forbes World’s Most Powerful Women List for 7th Time

German Chancellor Angela Merkel topped Forbes’ annual global ranking of the Most Powerful Women for the seventh time in eight years.

Merkel, 58, outranked competition including President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, who scored second, as well as third and fourth-placed Melinda Gates and Michelle Obama, Forbes said. In compiling this year’s list, Forbes said it sought women who “go beyond the traditional taxonomy of the power elite.”

The German Christian Democrat and co-listed women are “change agents,” said Forbes. They are “actually shifting our very idea of clout and authority and, in the process, transforming the world in fresh and exhilarating ways.”

Merkel, who spent the first 35 years of her life in communist-run East Germany, has been Germany’s chancellor since 2005, weathering an international banking and sovereign-debt crisis to become one of Europe’s longest-serving leaders. She is running for a third term in September.