> Title/Job: Actress, activist
The Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie was named a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees goodwill ambassador in 2001. Jolie, who has adopted children from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam, respectively, uses her celebrity status to draw attention to the concerns of displaced people and advocates for their protection.
> Title/Job: President of China
As is the case for many people on this list, what has earned China President Xi Jingping great admiration in some circles has also brought him condemnation in others. The 66-year-old leader of the world’s most populous nation has presided over the spectacular growth of the planet’s second-biggest economy after the United States. Early in his presidency, Xi Jingping launched in 2013 China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, a modern day Silk Road that is a massive infrastructure project stretching from East Asia to Europe.
Admiration for Xi Jingping by people around the world is tied to his enormous influence, which he is likely to continue wielding. Term limits for Chinese presidents and vice presidents were abolished in March 2018.
Xi has been criticized for China’s heavy-handed crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong. The protests were triggered in June by a bill that would permit extradition from Hong Kong to the mainland. Since then, Chinese troop presence has more than doubled in Hong Kong.
Queen Elizabeth II
> Title/Job: Sovereign of Great Britain
The 93-year-old sovereign of Great Britain has served longer than any monarch in British history, 67 years. Elizabeth is known for her devotion to duty and is much loved by the British people ever since she worked as a truck driver during World War II.
> Title/Job: Chinese business magnate and co-founder of Alibaba Group
Chinese businessman Jack Ma has built Alibaba Group into an e-commerce powerhouse. Ma, who is stepping down as executive chairman of Alibaba in September, has a net worth of nearly $41 billion.
> Title/Job: Actress
British actress Emma Watson gained recognition among American audiences for her role as the brainy heroine Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies. Watson will appear in director Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Louis May Alcott’s novel “Little Women” that is scheduled for release in late December.
Off camera, Watson was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014, and she devotes her efforts to empowering young women and promoting gender equality.
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