Angela Merkel is The Most Powerful Woman in the World

Chancellor Angela Merkel gets high marks for acting the grown up on the global stage. She is using her power against ISIS–breaking the post-Nazi-era taboo of direct involvement in military actions by sending arms to Kurdish fighters–and to deter Russia’s threats to Ukraine and European gas supplies. Germany continues to be the $17.5 trillion EU’s fiscal powerhouse, although its economy contracted for the first time in over a year. Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, was elected in 2005 as the first female German chancellor and clinched a third four-year term last December, making her the longest-serving elected EU head of state.