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Forbes' announces ranking of 'Most Powerful Women'

Media IndustryAngela MerkelThe New York TimesHeads of StateChristine LagardeAnn Curry

Click here to see who the top 15 women were.

Forbes announced its annual ranking of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women Wednesday, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel topping this year’s list.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton moves into the number two spot, followed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at third.

Members of the 2011 ranking come from politics, business, media, entertainment and non-profit; their power derives from money and might, but also (thanks to social media) reach and influence.  They control $30 trillion collectively and have an average age of 54.   Twenty-nine are CEOs; 22 are single; 8 are heads of state; 74 are returnees.   

“Our list reflects the diverse and dynamic paths to power for women today – whether leading a nation or setting the agenda on critical issues of our time,” said Moira Forbes, President & Publisher, ForbesWoman.  “Across their multiple spheres of influence, these women have achieved power through connectivity – the ability to build community around the organizations they oversee, the countries they lead, the causes they champion, and their personal brands.”  

There are 26 newcomers to the list, among them: New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson at number  12, U.S. Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann in the 22nd spot and NBC Today Co-Anchor Ann Curry at number 66.  Lady Gaga took the eleventh spot and is the youngest, at age 25, and is also the top “Power Tweeter.”  Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was in the 49th spot and is the oldest at 85-years-old. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, moves into the Top 10 for the first time (she’s been on the list every year since 2004) and is the subject of the Forbes cover story, ‘It Takes Courage’

Click here to see who the top 15 women were.

Click here to see Forbes’ full 100 list.

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