5. Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is currently the King of Saudi Arabia and by virtue of that is also known as the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. He was crowned on August 1, 2005, but was in governance as a Crown Prince since 1998 till his own actual crowning as a king. Previously, he was the Commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard from 1962 to November 2010. He is one of the world’s richest royal with a personal wealth of $21 billion. He has been known for implementing many beneficial national policies for the progress of his country. He has also worked toward promoting Arab nationalism as well as interfaith dialogue between different religious communities. He has been often cited as amongst the world’s worst dictators due to his strict interpretation of the Sharia law. He is conservative about other forms of religious practices and is in violation with the human rights, especially regarding women.
4. Bill Gates
William Henry “Bill” Gates III is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist and an author. He is the former CEO and the current chairman of Microsoft. He is amongst the world’s richest people and remained at the top of the list from 1995 to 2009 with an exception of 2008, when he came down to number third. He holds 6.4% of the common stock of Microsoft. He is criticized for being anti-competition in the industry so that his company can remain at the top. He continues to invest in many technologies related companies pertinent to research, planning and development. He has written and co-authored several books. He is an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) since 2005.
3. Hu Jintao
He is currently the President of the People’s Republic of China since March 15, 2003, and is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2002 and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 2004. Having all of these positions, he is the Paramount leader of the People’s Republic of China. He is the first leader of the Communist Party who has had no significant revolutionary credentials which shows that with the passage of time, the leadership of China will be in the hands of pragmatic technocrats like him. Though he is a conservative when it comes to political reforms, he has been steady in the economic growth of the country that grew China’s world economic leadership. He is mostly recognized for promoting the Scientific Development Concept, which promotes social equality reducing social conflicts. He practices soft power diplomacy with business orientation and building public relations. He helped increase China’s influence in Africa, Latin America and other developing parts of the world. He is criticized for strict media policies and for his stands on other human rights issues in China.
2. Vladmir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was the second President of the Russian Federation from December 31, 1999 to May 7, 2008 and will again resume this office from May 7, 2012. He is currently the Prime Minister of Russia since May 8, 2008. He is also the chairman of the United Russia since January 2008 and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus since May 28, 2008. Putin was member of the Russian intelligence agency, KGB from 1975 to 1991 as Lieutenant-colonel. He is known for helping political stability and economic progress in Russia through macroeconomic management and fiscal policy reforms. But in achieving so, he increased the price of oil and gas exported by Russia and made the country amongst the superpowers of energy resources. He projects himself as a likable figure in Russian politics with a tough guy look indulging in extreme sports. He has been recognized for his distinguish work by many governments.
1. Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th President of the United States currently serving his first term in the Oval Office. He is the first African American person to hold the highest office in the country, which is considered to be an achievement for the ethnicity that has faced centuries of brutality and injustices at the hands of the white dominant majority. He was previously the U.S. Senator from Illinois (January 3, 2005 to November 16, 2008). Questions have been raised regarding his place of birth, which he says is Honolulu, Hawaii and not Kenya. He taught constitutional law and also worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago. He was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 amidst much controversy as his any role in spreading peace. Rather he has failed to keep up his promises especially as to the timeline he had promised. He ended active war in Iraq and instead increased troop levels in Afghanistan, took US into Libya with a military involvement in 2011, and displayed himself as a ‘hero’ of sorts when he ordered military operation against America’s most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden killing him. He will run for a re-election in 2012, but faces tough questions on America’s state of capitalism, economy and foreign policy behavior.