The 12 most important people of 2012

As Listmas comes to a close, the editors of Reply look into their crystal ball and divine who will make headlines in the new year, and why.


Photo: Center for American Progress

Arne Duncan (U.S. Secretary of Education)
For bringing common sense education policy to the forefront of a broken system in an intense election year.


Photo: World Economic Forum

Angela Merkel
For leading Germany’s next conquest of Europe and keeping the Euro on life support.


Photo: ComSec

Goodluck Johnathan (President of Nigeria)
For putting the oil-rich, developing supernation in the headlines, for better or worse.


Photo: sabeth718

Aung San Suu Kyi
For being the symbol of and force behind normalizing relations between Myanmar and the world.


Photo: Gage Skidmore

Paul Ryan
For reclaiming his voice as the GOP’s economic evangelist.


Photo: Moby Media Group

Saad Mohseni 
For helping shape the voice of Afghanistan in the 21st century through his MOBY media empire.


Photo: Photo Giddy

Tim Cook
For leading Apple into the post-Jobs future (and hopefully introducing the iPhone 5).


Photo: Adam Jones, Ph.D.

Lionel Messi
For keeping the world’s attention on the beautiful game, and solidifying his status as a latter-day legend.


Photo: Steve Petteway

The Supreme Court 
For passing judgement on health care reform legislation in the middle of the presidential campaign.


Photo: BackBoris2012

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London)
For surviving re-election as London’s mayor and steering the city through the spectacle of the Olympic games.


Photo: Blog do Planalto

Dilma Rouseff (President of Brazil)
For making waves for Brazil in the lead-in to the World Cup and the Olympics, and continuing the policies of her predecessor.


Photo: International Monetary Fund

George Papaconstantinou (Greek energy minister)
For helping keep the Greek economy afloat through innovative alternative energy initiatives.

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