“Unveil the influential top 10 global leaders shaping today’s world dynamics. Discover their achievements, visions, and impact in the modern geopolitical arena.”
The global stage is marked by evolving geopolitical scenarios and power dynamics. As the world continues to change, certain leaders have risen to prominence, wielding considerable influence not just within their own nations but on the international arena as well. Here’s a look at the top 10 super power leaders who are currently shaping the course of global politics and diplomacy.
1. Xi Jinping – China
Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, has solidified his position as China’s paramount leader. Under his tenure, China has expanded its global influence, from infrastructure projects like the Belt and Road Initiative to asserting dominance in the South China Sea.
- Born: 15 June 1953, Beijing, China
- Growing Up: Xi grew up during the Cultural Revolution. His father was a veteran revolutionary and vice premier.
- Study: He studied chemical engineering at Tsinghua University and later earned a doctorate in Marxist theory from the same institution.
- Experience: Xi held various political roles before becoming China’s paramount leader, including serving as Shanghai’s party chief.
- Religion: As a member of the Communist Party, he would likely be officially atheist.
- Leadership: Xi became General Secretary of the Communist Party in 2012 and president in 2013. His leadership emphasizes the “Chinese Dream” of national rejuvenation.
- Official Salary: Approximately $22,000 (USD) per year as of the latest available data. This is notably low for a leader of a major nation, but China’s political elite often have other sources of income and substantial assets.
2. Joe Biden – United States
Succeeding Donald Trump in 2021, President Joe Biden has taken on the task of healing a polarized nation. Internationally, he seeks to restore alliances and re-establish the US’s leadership role in global institutions and agreements, such as rejoining the Paris Agreement.
- Born: 20 November 1942, Scranton, Pennsylvania
- Growing Up: Biden faced challenges, including a stutter. His father often told him, “Champ, the measure of a man is not how often he is knocked down, but how quickly he gets up.”
- Study: He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and a law degree from Syracuse University.
- Experience: Biden served as a U.S. Senator from Delaware for 36 years and later as Vice President under Barack Obama.
- Religion: Roman Catholic
- Leadership: He was elected as the 46th President of the U.S. in 2020.
- Official Salary: $400,000 (USD) as President of the U.S.
3. Vladimir Putin – Russia
Having been in power in various capacities since 1999, President Vladimir Putin has maintained Russia’s presence as a formidable force on the global stage. From annexing Crimea to influencing the Syrian conflict, Putin’s geopolitical strategies are far-reaching.
- Born: 7 October 1952, Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Soviet Union
- Growing Up: Putin grew up in a communal apartment and began practicing judo at a young age.
- Study: He graduated from Leningrad State University in 1975 with a law degree.
- Experience: Putin served in the KGB for 16 years. He then entered politics and became Boris Yeltsin’s chosen successor.
- Religion: Russian Orthodox Christian
- Leadership: Putin has been in power since 1999, serving as both president and prime minister at different times.
- Official Salary: Approximately $136,000 (USD) based on recent disclosures. However, speculations about Putin’s wealth and assets are widespread.
4. Angela Merkel – Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel has been a stabilizing force in the European Union. As the leader of Europe’s largest economy, Merkel has managed multiple crises, from the Eurozone’s financial troubles to the refugee crisis.
- Born: 17 July 1954, Hamburg, West Germany
- Growing Up: Merkel grew up in East Germany, where her father was a Lutheran pastor.
- Study: She studied physics at the University of Leipzig and earned a doctorate in quantum chemistry from Central Institute for Physical Chemistry.
- Experience: Merkel entered politics after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She has been the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000.
- Religion: Lutheran Christian
- Leadership: Merkel became Germany’s first female chancellor in 2005.
- Official Salary: Approximately $369,727 (USD) as Chancellor.
5. Narendra Modi – India
As the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy, Narendra Modi has ushered in significant economic reforms and sought to bolster India’s position on the global stage. His policies focus on domestic manufacturing, digital initiatives, and enhancing international partnerships.
- Born: 17 September 1950, Vadnagar, Gujarat, India
- Growing Up: Modi helped his father sell tea and later ran his own stall.
- Study: He completed his master’s degree in political science from the University of Gujarat.
- Experience: Modi joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and later the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He served as Gujarat’s Chief Minister from 2001 to 2014.
- Religion: Hinduism
- Leadership: Modi became India’s Prime Minister in 2014.
- Official Salary: Around $30,300 (USD) as of the latest available figures. Additionally, he receives various allowances and benefits
6. Emmanuel Macron – France
Since his election as President in 2017, Emmanuel Macron has sought to rejuvenate France’s role in global affairs. From pushing for EU reforms to being vocal about climate change, Macron’s leadership is proactive and future-oriented.
- Born: 21 December 1977, Amiens, France
- Growing Up: Macron’s parents were both doctors. He showed an early inclination towards literature and philosophy.
- Study: He studied philosophy at Paris Nanterre University and public affairs at Sciences Po. He also attended École nationale d’administration (ENA).
- Experience: Macron worked as an investment banker and later as Minister of Economy, Industry, and Digital Affairs.
- Religion: Raised in a non-religious family, he was baptized Catholic at his own request at age 12.
- Leadership: Macron founded his party, En Marche!, in 2016 and was elected president in 2017.
- Official Salary: About $211,530 (USD) as President.
7. Jair Bolsonaro – Brazil
Leading the largest country in South America, President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies have been marked by a shift to the right, with a focus on economic liberalization. His stance on the Amazon rainforest has garnered international attention.
- Born: 21 March 1955, Campinas, Brazil
- Growing Up: Bolsonaro comes from a modest family background, with his father being a dentist.
- Study: He attended the Agulhas Negras Military Academy and served in the Brazilian Army.
- Experience: Bolsonaro served seven consecutive terms in the Chamber of Deputies, Brazil’s lower house, from 1991 to 2019.
- Religion: Roman Catholic, but he also has strong ties to the evangelical community.
- Leadership: He became the 38th president of Brazil in 2019, promoting a far-right stance.
- Official Salary: Roughly $120,000 (USD) annually.
8. Shinzō Abe (and successors) – Japan
While Shinzō Abe stepped down in 2020, his long tenure as Japan’s Prime Minister brought stability and a push for Japan to take a more assertive global role. His successors continue to navigate Japan’s position in a dynamic Asia-Pacific region.
- Born: 21 September 1954, Tokyo, Japan
- Growing Up: Abe comes from a political dynasty; his grandfather and father both held significant political roles.
- Study: He studied political science at Seikei University and later at the University of Southern California.
- Experience: Abe held various positions, including Director of the Social Affairs Division, before becoming Prime Minister.
- Religion: Shintoism
- Leadership: He served as Japan’s Prime Minister from 2006-2007 and again from 2012-2020, making him the longest-serving PM in Japanese history.
- Official Salary: Abe’s salary was approximately $273,676 (USD) as Prime Minister.
9. Boris Johnson – United Kingdom
As the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has overseen the nation’s final exit from the European Union. He now faces the challenge of defining Britain’s new role on the global stage post-Brexit.
- Born: 19 June 1964, New York City, U.S.
- Growing Up: Born to British parents in the U.S., Johnson moved to the UK during his childhood.
- Study: He studied Classics at Balliol College, Oxford.
- Experience: Johnson was the Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016 and has been an MP since 2001.
- Religion: Christian (Church of England)
- Leadership: Boris Johnson became the UK’s Prime Minister in 2019, leading the nation through the final stages of Brexit.
- Official Salary: Approximately $198,509 (USD) as the UK’s Prime Minister.
10. Scott Morrison – Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison leads a nation that’s playing an increasingly vital role in the Asia-Pacific region. Balancing ties between the West and a rising China, Australia under Morrison is navigating complex geopolitical waters.
- Born: 13 May 1968, Sydney, Australia
- Growing Up: Morrison’s father was a policeman and his mother worked in administrative positions.
- Study: He studied economic geography at the University of New South Wales.
- Experience: Morrison worked in tourism, including a role as Managing Director of Tourism Australia, before entering politics.
- Religion: Pentecostal Christian
- Leadership: Morrison became the 30th Prime Minister of Australia in 2018.
- Official Salary: Around $549,229 (AUD), which is approximately $408,000 (USD).
Finally, The strategies, decisions, and actions of these leaders are instrumental in shaping our contemporary world order. Their leadership, both collaborative and individual, will undoubtedly influence the direction of international relations, economic policies, and global peace and stability in the coming years.
Each of these leaders has had a unique journey, marked by personal challenges, academic pursuits, and a rising trajectory in the world of politics. Their stories provide insights into the myriad ways one can rise to power and influence in the contemporary world.
Please note that these figures are based on publicly available data and may vary. These numbers don’t account for other potential sources of income or the perks and benefits world leaders receive, which can be substantial. Moreover, the exact wealth and assets of these leaders can be challenging to determine accurately.