Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been named by Fortune Magazine as one of the world’s greatest leaders. The list of Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders for the year 2016 features men and women from across the world who have excelled in business, government, philanthropy and arts, transforming and inspiring the world to repeat their feat. The third annual list was announced March 24th.
Fortune has listed Arvind Kejriwal as the 42nd in the list and is the only Indian name to make it to the list. Another person of Indian origin to make it to the list is the Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, with a rank of 17. And the only other Indian American politician and lawyer Reshma Saujani, based in New York, has also made it to the list at the 20th spot.
The Fortune list sought outstanding leaders in all sectors of society around the world. It recognized those who are inspiring others to act, to follow them on a worthy quest and who have shown staying power.
According to Fortune, Kejriwal, the founder of the Aam Aadmi Party, has worked towards controlling the pollution of one of the busiest metros of India through the odd-even scheme, which has taken a toll on his popularity back in India.
Fortune said “When Kejriwal unveiled a blueprint to tackle the smog in New Delhi — called the world’s most polluted city by the World Health Organization — many were sceptical. A key component: an ‘odd-even’ pilot project in which vehicles were allowed on the roads only on alternate days.”
It also added “The uplifting result of the pilot this January: roads were less clogged, hourly particulate air pollution concentrations dropped by 13 percent, and citizens could breathe deeply.” It also said that the leadership is not just demagoguery, pandering, even populism but the way normal citizens work towards making a change in the life of fellow beings in a way people have never imagined.
The US-based magazine said in a reference to Kejriwal and Domenico Lucano, the Mayor of the Italian town of Riace, who was ranked 40th on the list that when the Delhi Chief Minister risked his career to fight pollution, the Italian mayor showed example by welcoming Middle East migrants to his tiny town—improving its economy and brightening their prospects.
Fortune highlighted the summer of 2015, following the massacre of nine people in a Charleston, S.C., church, when Haley was instrumental in the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds. That removal sparked a movement throughout the South to remove the charged symbol, Fortune said. It added that the Republican Haley “is proving that Trumpism isn’t the only way. South Carolina’s Indian American governor was among the earliest in her party to call out GOP presidential front-runner (Donald Trump), warning against ‘the siren call of the angriest voices’— in a nationally televised State of the Union response, no less.”
Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO, Girls Who Code, that works to close the gender gap in technology has been listed in as the 20th in the list. The 40-year old former Wall Street attorney has given training and internship programs for more than 40,000 girls. In a TED talk in February, which has since accrued more than 800,000 views, Saujani stressed teaching girls to be brave rather than perfect.
Also in the list is Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who according to Fortune is the only female leader among the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states. “Hasina has deftly navigated the competing demands of Islamic tradition and women’s rights,” says Fortune.
Amazon CEO Bezo topped this year’s list and has been consistently featuring in all three years since Fortune started listing the World’s Greatest Leaders. Pope Francis is listed at the 4th position followed by Apple CEO Tim Cook. The list includes names of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2), Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi at (3), US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko (22), IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (36), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-chair and CEO Melinda Gates and Susan Desmond-Hellmann (41), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (48) and Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay (50).
While introducing the 50 greatest leaders, Fortune wrote: “The leaders you’ll meet here, known and new, will lift your mood and upgrade your assessment of the world’s future. Some may inspire you to join their followers. And those unheard-ofs, so seemingly ordinary, may even prompt you to rethink your own potential as an inspiring leader.”