Ardern tops list of world's greatest leaders

Fortune says Jacinda Ardern's leadership through Covid-19 was the catalyst for her top ranking....
Fortune says Jacinda Ardern's leadership through Covid-19 was the catalyst for her top ranking. Photo: Getty Images
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has topped Fortune Magazine’s list of the world’s greatest leaders, beating a number of influential people.

The publication cited the New Zealander's leadership through Covid-19 as the catalyst for her top ranking.

“The Covid-19 pandemic struck and Ardern targeted not just suppression of the virus but its complete elimination,” Fortune said.

“Though there have been a few scares, her strategy largely proved successful; New Zealand, a nation of nearly five million people, has seen fewer than 2700 cases and only 26 deaths.”

It’s not the first time Ardern has placed highly on Fortune’s list: In 2019 she placed second behind Bill and Melinda Gates.

The Gateses do not feature in the top 50 list in 2021.

Ardern was placed ahead of the “mRNA Pioneers” - the scientist behind the development of the Covid-19 vaccine.

She was also ahead of the likes of country music great Dolly Parton (ranked 11th), human rights icon Malala Yousafzai (31st), NFL superstar Tom Brady (22nd) and quirky cooking show frontman Guy Fieri (42nd).

“Jacinda Ardern had already sealed her position as a great leader early in her premiership of New Zealand, by empathetically steering her country through the aftermath of a terror attack and the deadly eruption of a volcano,” Fortune said.

Ardern’s decision that her, and her Cabinet ministers would take a six-month, 20% pay cut in 2020 to “show solidarity with people who had lost their livelihoods” due to Covid-19 was another reason behind her No 1 ranking.

“She has also adopted world-leading climate and gender-equity policies.

“And last year, Ardern’s administration made it easier for women to negotiate with their employers for more equitable pay.”

This is Fortune’s eighth annual list of the world’s greatest leaders.

The 2021 list focused heavily on the response to Covid-19 and how people showed leadership through the crisis.

“These individuals rose to meet the challenges of the pandemic, social and economic upheaval,” Fortune said.

“Many countries besides the US were slow to confront the new reality of Covid-19. By contrast, the administration of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began screening arriving airline passengers from China in January 2020, before the disease had a name.”


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Something else to add to her over inflated ego

Be fair. She is a great leader and many of us would have died if not for her. And the economy would be down the drain hole without our government's actions.

Strange ranking. Dolly Parton placed as 11th "world's greatest leader"...


Ador Punewalla on number 10. This's got to be a joke. His Indian pharma company failed to deliver the vaccines India desperately needed while he lives a luxarious life in London. What is the points of these lists and who cares about them?

Hmmm...a publication for the rich nominates Ardern as the world's greatest leader. Says a lot. Other than the elites, most of the world don't know where new Zealand 1 is let alone who the leader is. New Zealand is 5 mil people. New York city and Los Angeles have bigger populations and face more complex issues. Those mayor's have larger police forces than new Zealands military. They are more tested than Ardern. Closing the borders and regurgitating "be kind" isn't leadership.

Great to see the tall poppy syndrome is alive and well in NZ.

Cant believe this. May be in tackling the Covid pandemic. Strange ranking. 26 deaths in 2700 cases is big, almost 10%.

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