The Most Intriguing People in Business

What distinguishes them from their peers is their pure domination of their respective spaces.

to approximately $72.2 million for 2008. This year he opened a new office at the European Union in Brussels to promote closer cooperation and joint initiatives in Europe. He has also spearheaded the creation of a bio-terrorism prevention unit at the General Secretariat, and he has initiated the process of creating the INTERPOL Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna, Austria, which will be the world’s first international institute dedicated to fighting corruption. This year, Noble was awarded the world-renowned Légion d’ Honneur—the highest decoration in France—by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Reformer
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia

The first woman ever elected to lead an African nation in 2005, Johnson-Sirleaf, known as Africa’s “Iron Lady,” has been recognized as a determined advocate for peace, justice, and democratic rule in Liberia. Early in her presidency, Johnson-Sirleaf renewed security and law enforcement agencies, returned electricity and water to Liberia’s capital city, repaired roads and bridges, resettled displaced people, rehabilitated heath clinics, and improved government accountability and transparency—all of which are a part of her agenda for economic development and ending corruption and civil war in Liberia.

Johnson-Sirleaf’s strongest asset is her past career in finance. She has experience working at Liberia’s Treasury Department; served as minister of finance; was president of Liberian Bank for Development & Investment, where she led innovations to halt mismanagment of funds; and was vice president for Equator Bank in the U.S. She has represented Liberia in several financial institutions, including the African Development Bank. Johnson-Sirleaf also directed the Regional Bureau of Africa for the United Nations Development Program from 1992–1997. Since she became president, Liberia’s GDP growth has increased to 9.4% from 6.7%. Johnson-Sirleaf also facilitated a Poverty Reduction Strategy Program to relieve Liberia from a debt of approximately $3.5 billion. Liberia has also experienced an increase in private sector investments in various areas such as natural resources, tourism, infrastructure, and the construction of hotels.

Johnson-Sirleaf, 70, has been a political figure since the 1980swhen she spoke against the Samuel Doe regime. A former political prisoner—she was arrested and exiled twice—she campaigned to remove former president Charles Taylor from office. In 2007, Johnson- Sirleaf was honored with the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and received honorary doctor of law degrees from Indiana University and Brown University.

The Publishing Titan
Magnus Greaves, Founder, Doubledown Media

At a time when most magazines have lost advertisers, Greaves, founder of Doubledown Media, has experienced the reverse. His magazine group, which consists of Trader Monthly, Dealmaker, Private Air, Corporate Leader, and Cigar Report, has seen a 67% increase in advertising this year. The reason is simple, according to the 34-year-old Vancouver resident, targeting wealthy individuals shields luxury publications from downturns in the marketplace. The audience: high-net-worth men with a median income of $600,000, particularly C-suite executives, investment bankers, and private equity and venture capital investors.

As several financial institutions have fallen to bankruptcy and acquisitions, Doubledown’s subscribers have remained steady. But as the U.S. Congress was voting on a financial rescue bill, Greaves was in Dubai for the launch of his Middle

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