Michelle Obama, Angela Merkel among world’s most powerful women

Updated
This digital composite shows (L-R, clockwise) U.S. first lady Michelle Obama. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Former U.S Secretary of State Hillary...
This digital composite shows (L-R, clockwise) U.S. first lady Michelle Obama. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Former U.S Secretary of State Hillary...
Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel topped Forbes’ 2013 list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, followed Merkel in second and third respectively.

This year the magazine wrote that it chose women that go “beyond the traditional taxonomy of the power elite.”

The influential women hail from seven categories or power bases: billionaires, business, lifestyle, media, nonprofits and NGOs, politics, and technology. Forbes applied money, media presence, and impact to determine the rank within each category.

Several U.S. leaders made the annual list, including first lady Michelle Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Chairman of the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group Bonnie Hammer, author J.K. Rowling, New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust, designer Tory Burch, singer Beyonce Knowles, and comedian Ellen DeGeneres were also recognized as powerful women.

The winners were selected from a preliminary group of more than 250 candidates from around the world.

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Michelle Obama, Angela Merkel among world's most powerful women

Updated