The 100 Most Influential People of 2020
Augusto Casasoli—A3/Contrasto/Redux
By Christine Lagarde
September 22, 2020 9:34 PM EDT

Ursula von der Leyen is a politician who relishes a challenge and is undeterred by adversity. Originally a trained physician, she has been a top-ranking German politician for 14 years, including as Germany’s first female Defense Minister—a truly multifaceted Powerfrau. She will undoubtedly serve Europe well as the first female President of the European Commission, a role she assumed in December. She aspires to a Europe that is carbon-neutral by 2050, fit for the digital age and resilient to global challenges.

As a mother of seven children and head of an organization with around 32,000 staff members, Ursula is an accomplished multitasker. Her faculty for keeping calm and carrying on has helped her face the worst economic shock since World War II: the COVID-19 crisis. In May she proposed a €750 billion recovery fund, which was endorsed by E.U. leaders nearly two months later. True to her elegant style and calm temperament, she epitomized grace under pressure even when pushing through this historic deal.

Lagarde is president of the European Central Bank

 

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