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Melinda Gates

Move over Oprah.

Melinda Gates is out to change the world, and she’s moving up the list of the most powerful women.

Forbes released its annual ranking of the 100 most powerful women in the world, and Seattle’s very own philanthropic powerhouse ranked third behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

I guess that’s what happens when you decide to devote your family’s fortune to small problems like eradicating deadly diseases and educating the poor. Gates is largely seen as driving force behind The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest philanthropic foundation in the world.

Gates first broke into the top 10 on the Forbes list in 2005, but then was noticeably absent for the next five years. Since 2011, however, she’s been moving up the charts, ranking 6th in 2011 and 4th in 2012.

If you have any doubts as to why Gates would make the list, watch this inspirational commencement speech that she gave earlier this month at her alma mater, Duke University.

You can see the full list here. And, in case you were wondering, Oprah, who once ranked as high as No. 3 and also appeared on the inaugural list in 2004, is now No. 13.


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