TIME’s Person of The Year 2015 is Angela Merkel, making her the first female to be named receiving the title since 1986.

Merkel is considered to be one of the most powerful political leaders in Eurpoe and has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005.


2015 was a huge year for Merkel. She led Germany to aid Greece during its financial crisis. Germany also came through for refugees and fought against ISIS, all under Merkel’s control.

She has faced severe backlash for her welcoming stance towards refugees and has urged Germany and the rest of the world to open their arms to refugees. TIME’s Person of the Year 2015 runner-up Donald Trump even called Merkel “insane” and referred to refugees as “one of the great Trojan horses”.

The publication explains its decision to award Angela Merkel the title:

At a moment when much of the world is once more engaged in a furious debate about the balance between safety and freedom, the Chancellor is asking a great deal of the German people, and by their example, the rest of us as well. To be welcoming. To be unafraid. To believe that great civilisations build bridges, not walls, and that wars are won both on and off the battlefield. By viewing the refugees as victims to be rescued rather than invaders to be repelled. Leaders are tested only when people don’t want to follow. For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is TIME’s Person of the Year.

The Short List

All The Past Females Who Got The Title

Although the last official standalone female who was named Person of the Year in 1986 was Philippine President Corazon Aquino, the list does include females in general thereafter:

1936: Wallis Simpson


1937: Chiang Kai-shek and Soong May-ling POTY 2

1952: Queen Elizabeth IIPOTY 3

1966: Men and Women 25 and UnderPOTY 4

1969: The Middle Americans


1975: American Women POTY 6

1986: Corazon Aquino POTY 7

2002: The Whistleblowers: Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley and Sherron Watkins POTY 8

2005: The Good Samaritans: Bill Gates, Bono, Melinda Gates 051226_DOMCNNL1R1

2006: You POTY 10

2011: The Protester POTY 11

2014: The Ebola Fighters (left: Salome Karwah; right: Ella Watson-Stryker) POTY 122013: Angela Merkel