100 Most Powerful Women in the World

NEW YORK, NY -- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the world's most powerful woman, beating out a host of presidents, celebrities and chief executives to top Forbes magazine's global ranking of feminine clout.

The annual list was Forbes' second ranking of the world's 100 most powerful women and left Rice two-for-two, having topped the 2004 version as US national security adviser.

Elizabeth MacDonald, senior editor at Forbes, cited Rice for "reinvigorating the role of Secretary of State with a form of diplomatic activism that we haven't seen in a while."

Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi was runner-up for the second year in a row, but other prominent Asian women fared less well.

PM Tymoshenko - 3rd World's Most Powerful Woman

Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, 44 came in third. Tymoshenko was one of the leaders of Ukraine's Orange Revolution last fall that toppled a stagnant, corrupt regime.

For her support, the country's new president, Victor Yushchenko, appointed her prime minister, a post she is using forcefully to shake up Ukrainian oligarchs.

Her bold moves to re-privatize industrial assets, allegedly bought on the cheap by billionaires like Rinat Akhmetov and Victor Pinchuk, have met with criticism both inside and outside Ukraine.

But Tymoshenko is used to controversy, having fallen out with the sitting government in 2001, leading to her arrest and later dismissal. Tymoshenko is also known for her fashion sense, appearing on the cover of the Ukrainian edition of Elle magazine earlier this year.

Source: Forbes