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Forbes Ranks the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World

For the sixth year in a row, Forbes has rounded up its list of the world's most powerful women. It measures influence by scoring each female leader on visibility (not to be mistaken for popularity) and the size of the organization or country these women lead. The top spot remains unchanged from the previous three years, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sits at number one of 100 for leading the fourth largest economy in the world.

Notable American newcomers to the 2009 rankings include Michele Obama who debuted at number 40 (just ahead of Oprah Winfrey at 41 and Britain's Queen Elizabeth at 42); Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at 54; Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at 56; Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano at 51; and Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Schapiro at 55. Visit Forbes for the full list, and find out who are the 10 most influential women when you read more.

  1. Angela Merkel: Chancellor, Germany
  2. Sheila Bair: Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., US
  3. Indra Nooyi: Chairman and chief executive, PepsiCo, US
  4. Cynthia Carroll: Chief executive, Anglo American, UK
  5. Ho Ching: Chief executive, Temasek Holdings, Singapore
  6. Irene Rosenfeld: Chairman, chief executive, Kraft Foods, US
  7. Ellen Kullman: Chief executive, DuPont, US
  8. Angela Braly: Chief executive and president, WellPoint, US
  9. Anne Lauvergeon: Chief executive, Areva, France
  10. Lynn Elsenhans: Chief executive, Sunoco, US
Source: Getty
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