Gates, Jolie, the Obamas: These Are the Most Admired People of 2018
Gates and Jolie beat out former presidents, royals and Oprah to claim the top spots.
YouGov recently released their annual study highlighting public figures people look up to the most. The list includes celebrities, activists as well as former and current world leaders.
The survey queried 37,000 people from more than 35 countries to determine who are the women and men our world hails as most admirable.
Entertainers rounded out most of the top 20 for women, while businessmen, politicians and athletes dominated the top 20 for men. Many of these men and women work to tackle global issues and have left a lasting impact on the world.
The World's Most Admired Women
Angelina Jolie poses for photographers upon arrival at the BAFTA Film Awards, in London, Feb. 18, 2018.
While famous for her work as an actress, Jolie has also committed her life to humanitarian efforts. As a Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, she focuses on preventing and punishing sexual violence.
The former first lady’s transformative work includes the launch of Let Girls Learn, an initiative that helps educate girls around the world.
Aside from being a general beacon for empowerment of everyone, everywhere, Oprah stole the show at the Golden Globes with her powerful speech on the #MeToo movement.
Queen Elizabeth II
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd in Ascot, England, June 22, 2017.
The Queen recently waged a war on plastic in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of royal households.
As a former secretary of state and presidential candidate, Clinton has spent her life breaking glass ceilings and advocating for the rights of women both domestically and abroad.
UN Women/Karin Schermbrucker
Watson is a dedicated advocate for the UN’s HeforShe campaign working to promote gender equality.
As the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala is staunch advocate of education as a basic human right and uses her own organization and voice to empower girls around the world.
Read More: 15 Times That Malala Nailed It
Chopra advocates for girls’ causes and education as an ambassador for both Girls Up and Girls Rising and through her own foundation.
When not pushing musical boundaries, pop icon Madonna works to end extreme poverty among orphans in Malawi.
Gal Gadot is a Wonder Woman both on and off screen: She uses her platform to raise funds to build schools and take a stance on the importance of education.
Merkel made headlines with her open door refugee policy that took in millions fleeing conflict in the Middle East.
The World’s Most Admired Men
As the founder of both Microsoft and the world’s largest private charity, Gates promotes global development and tackles issues in health and education.
Disclosure: Bill Gates is the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a funding partner of Global Citizen.
Having ranked first in 19 of the countries surveyed, the former president continues his legacy as a leader of global change
Considered one of Asia’s premier philanthropists, Chan has founded multiple charities focused on expanding educational opportunities for children.
The spiritual leader and activist is renowned for his peaceful approaches to global relations and attempts to end human rights violations.
While he donates billions to charity, philanthropist Warren Buffet also uses his status to advocate for ending global poverty.
Working with UNICEF, Beckham uses his voice and influence to raise money and campaign for better opportunities for children.
Jordan actively contributes to charities that target and help at-risk youth.
Pope Francis waves as he leaves the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles after a mid-morning prayer with contemplative nuns, in Lima, Peru, Jan. 21, 2018.
Pope Francis has brought ending poverty and eradicating injustices to the forefront of his mission as head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City.
Messi’s charitable work includes building classrooms in Syria so more than 1,600 displaced children can return to school.
The Pakistani politician’s foundation works to engage and mobilize local communities through better access to basic services.
Modi has made humanitarian efforts central to his role as Prime Minister of India by making improvements to health and education a priority.
Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, which include action on gender equality, sustainability, global health, and climate change. You can join us by taking action here.
Editor's note: This piece has been updated to include a disclosure that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a funding partner of Global Citizen. We regret the oversight.