The list, compiled by respected global affairs magazine Foreign Policy, includes the First Minister of Scotland ‘for weathering Brexit’.
The description reads: “As UK politicians pushed for a Brexit vote, Nicola Sturgeon advocated for Scots to remain in the European Union. Her nation heeded her call: 62 per cent voted against leaving.
“While Brexit brought the UK to its knees, Sturgeon insisted that her nation stand stronger than ever.”
The magazine goes onto highlight the ‘listening exercise’ that Ms Sturgeon and her party undertook to gauge public opinion on a second referendum.
The SNP leader is named alongside figures such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
The magazine’s ‘decision makers’ category honours those who have ‘plowed through political roadblocks, these leaders rejected hand-wringing over the past year.’
The editors’ introduction begins: “The Global Thinkers honoured here are proof that, as a society’s pillars falter, individuals step in to bear the weight. The honorees demonstrated how private citizens can ease the suffering of others. They subverted traditional power structures to craft solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems.”
The introduction stresses that the global leaders commended for their work ‘should serve as reminders that humanity has the power to hold leaders to account, to defy corrupt regimes, and to provide one another opportunity and solace when states cannot.’
Ms Sturgeon is one of only two UK-based politician to be included in Foreign Policy’s leading global thinkers.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan - who became the first Muslim leader of a major European city - is included ‘for safeguarding London’s moral compass.’
Other notable inclusions are Facebook founder and philanthropist Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, the physician Priscilla Chan; Northern Irish abortion activists Colette Devlin, Diana King and Kitty O’Kane - ‘for committing a righteous crime’ - as well as German chancellor Angela Merkel and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen is included her work on making the island’s sovereignty a priority, along with Indonesian leader President Joko Widodo, for ‘forging a shaky path towards historical reckoning’.