Rousseff: The Top Latina on Forbes’ Most Powerful Women List

Following her dramatic rise to the top of the heap last year, Dilma Rousseff is holding steady as la Latina mas poderosa en el mundo

The 64-year-old Brazilian president—the first woman to hold that office—has been named to Forbes magazine’s list of the most powerful women in the world.

Dilma Rousseff

Rousseff, the leader of one of the world’s largest economies, ranks at No. 3 on the list behind Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The three women occupy the exact same position they held on last year’s list.

In selecting her as one of the most powerful women, Forbes highlighted Rousseff’s ambitious work at the mid-point of her first term as president, launching two aggressive programs meant to reverse the still-strong but shrinking national GDP.

Brasil Sem Miséria is a Great Society-type program aimed at ridding dire poverty in Brazil and increasing access to education, medical care and sanitation services to those in need by 2014. A second initiative centers on business growth and innovation, including protectionist tariffs on imports, subsidies for exports and incentivizing micro and small businesses.

“What I want my legacy to be is this country to be increasing middle class, to be highly competitive and highly educated,” Rousseff told Forbes.

A June poll put Rousseff’s approval rating at 77%, and she is predicted to win a second four-year term in 2014.

Further down the list, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has moved up a spot from last year’s list to occupy the No. 16 position.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

The 59-year-old Argentine president was re-elected to a second term in a landslide election last year. She caused quite a stir this summer when she approved ads for Argentina’s Olympic team that disputed British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. Tensions between the Olympic host nation and Argentina have been boiling over since Fernandez renewed her country’s claim to the islands on June 13th, the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War.

Under her administration the economy sharply grew—the GDP is up 37% since 2007 at $725—pension and child welfare benefits increased and the poverty rate has fallen steadily.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopezthe “world’s most powerful celebrity”—ranks as the most powerful Latina superstar on this year’s list.

Jennifer Lopez

The 43-year-old Puerto Rican multi-hyphenate, who recently decided to walk away from her cushy American Idol gig, ranks at No. 38 in her debut listing on this Forbes list.

Lopez earned approximately $52 million last year with projects in a number of diverse fields that go beyond singing and acting, including successful fragrance and clothing lines and several lucrative endorsement deals.

She’s even produced and starred in her own Latin talent competition show Q’Viva! and she’s developing an hour-long drama for ABC Family. And, this summer she kicked off her first international music tour, which she plans to release as a 3D concert film.

“I’m a little bit tired now, I’m not going to lie,” Lopez admitted to Forbes.

Here’s a look at other Latinas making this year’s list:

No. 20 Petrobras-Petróleo Brasil CEO Maria das Graças Silva Foster
No. 40 Colombian singing sensation Shakira
No. 41 General Motors’ SVP, Global Product Development Mary Barra
No. 54 Spanish Investor & Philanthropist Rosalia Mera
No. 75 Colombian actress Sofia Vergara
No. 83 Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen

Click here to see Forbes’ complete list of the world’s most powerful women.

1 thought on “Rousseff: The Top Latina on Forbes’ Most Powerful Women List

  1. Pingback: Rousseff: The Highest-Ranking Latina on Forbes' Most Powerful Women List | Hispanically Yours: Celebrating the Latino Influence

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