Famous and Powerful Women of the Decade - 2000-2009

01
of 25

Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet November 2006
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Chile's first female president, Michelle Bachelet, in New Zealand November 2006. Getty Images / Marty Melville

Women Making History

Women have achieved ever more powerful roles in politics, business and society. I've highlighted some of the women who made powerful contributions to the world during the decade 2000-2009. The list is arranged alphabetically.

First woman president of Chile, inaugurated March 2006

02
of 25

Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto December 27 2007
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan at a campaign rally minutes before being assassinated December 27, 2007. Getty Images / John Moore

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, assassinated at a rally campaigning for that office, December 2007

03
of 25

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Secretary of State
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Hillary Clinton sworn in as the 67th United States Secretary of State, as her husband and daughter, former president Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, look on. Getty Images / Alex Wong

During the decade, she was First Lady, Senator, serious presidential candidate of a major political party, and Secretary of State (more below)

First former First Lady to hold major elective office, January 2001 (Senator from New York); first woman candidate for U.S. president to almost win a nomination from a major political party (declared candidacy January 2007, conceded June 2008); first former First Lady to serve in the cabinet, in her capacity of U.S. Secretary of State, confirmed January 2009

04
of 25

Katie Couric

Katie Couric December 2006
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Katie Couric, news anchor, at New York Women in Film and Television Muse Awards, December 2006. Getty Images / Peter Kramer

Anchor of CBS Evening News beginning September 2006

05
of 25

Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust February 11 2007
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Drew Gilpin Faust named President of Harvard University, February 22, 2007. Getty Images / Jodi Hilton

First woman president of Harvard University, appointed February 2007

06
of 25

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina at UN September 2008. Getty Images / Spencer Platt

First woman president of Argentina, October 2007

07
of 25

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina on Meet the Press, December 2008
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and John McCain economic advisor, on Meet the Press, December 2008. Getty Images / Alex Wong

Forced to resign as CEO of Hewlett-Packard in 2005, she was an advisor to Republican presidential candidate John McCain in 2008. In November 2009, she announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate from California, challenging Barbara Boxer (D).

In 2010, she went on to win the Republican primary and then lost in the general election to incumbent Barbara Boxer.

08
of 25

Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi of India's Congress Party 2006
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Sonia Gandhi of India's Congress Party in Belgium, November 11, 2006. Getty Images / Mark Renders

Widow of India's Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President of the Indian National Congress; she turned down the Prime Minister's post in 2004

09
of 25

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates at Harvard, 2007
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Melinda Gates at the Harvard University commencement of 2007, as her husband Bill Gates gives the commencement address. Getty Images / Darren McCollester

Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; with her husband named Time magazine's Persons of the Year in December 2005

10
of 25

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg September 2009
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Photograph of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, September 29, 2009, in a photo session including the new Justice, Sonia Sotomajor. Getty Images / Mark Wilson

US Supreme Court Justice since 1993; treated for cancer following a 1991 diagnosis; in 2009, she was diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer

11
of 25

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai, December 2009
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Wangari Maathai at UN Climate Change Summit, 2009. Getty Images / Peter Macdiarmid

First African woman and first environmental activist to win Nobel Peace Prize

12
of 25

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Philippines President May 2007
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Philippines president, in Canberra, Australia, May 31, 2007. Getty Images / Ian Waldie

President of the Philippines since January, 2001

13
of 25

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow October 2009
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Rachel Maddow being interviewed at the 2009 New Yorker Festival, October 27, 2009. Getty Images / Joe Kohen

Host of Air America radio show; The Rachel Maddow Show premiered on MSNBC television in September 2008

14
of 25

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel German Chancellor December 2009
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, at a weekly German cabinet meeting on December 9, 2009. Getty Images / Andreas Rentz

First woman chancellor of Germany, November 2005

15
of 25

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi PepsiCo Chair and CEO - September 2007
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 PepsiCo Chair and CEO Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi in Miami at Miami Leadership Roundtable, Miami Dade College, September 2007. Getty Images / Joe Raedle

PepsiCo CEO, effective October 2006, and chairperson, effective May 2007

16
of 25

Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor - May 2009
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Sandra Day O'Connor, first female Supreme Court Justice, speaks at a law conference in Washington, DC, May 20, 2009. Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

First female United States Supreme Court Justice, serving from 1981 to 2006; named the second most powerful woman in America in 2001 by the Ladies' Home Journal

17
of 25

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama June 2009
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Michelle Obama gives the commencement address at the Washington Math Science Technical High School, June 3, 2009. Getty Images / Alex Wong

First Lady of the United States, 2009

18
of 25

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin and John McCain - RNC September 2008
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Sarah Palin stands with John McCain on day 4 of the Republican National Convention of 2008, where McCain, who selected Palin as his running mate, accepts the convention's nomination, September 4, 2008. Getty Images / Ethan Miller

Picked by John McCain as Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States, August 2008

19
of 25

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi press conference on global warming June 2007
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Nancy Pelosi at a press conference on global warming, June 1, 2007. Getty Images / Win McNamee

Speaker of the House of the U.S. Congress, January 2007

20
of 25

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice at United Nations December 2008
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, at a United Nations press conference, December 15, 2008. Getty Images / Chris Hondros

National Security Advisor, 2001-2005, and Secretary of State, 2005-2009; widely thought might be 2008 candidate for president or vice president

21
of 25

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - press conference Washington DC 2009
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, at a press conference on a book tour in Washington, DC, April 21, 2009. Getty Images / Alex Wong

First woman president of Liberia, November 2005, and Africa's first female elected head of state

22
of 25

Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor September 2009
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Sonia Sotomayor at formal investiture as justice of the US Supreme Court, September 8, 2009. Getty Images / Mark Wilson

Third female and first Hispanic justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, August 2009

23
of 25

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi Protest 2007
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 London protestor with mask of Aung San Suu Kyi on the 12th anniversary of her house arrest by Burmese junta. Getty Images / Cate Gillon

Burmese politician, 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, under house arrest by ruling junta for most of the decade; subject of world campaign for her release

24
of 25

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey API FEST 2009
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Oprah Winfrey at a screening of the movie Precious, AFI Fest, November 1, 2009. Getty Images / Jason Merritt

First black billionaire, as reported by Forbes in April 2004; in 2009 she announced the end in 2011 of her popular talk show

25
of 25

Wu Yi

Wu Yi April 2006
Powerful Women of the Decade 2000 - 2009 Wu Yi, Vice Premier of the Peoples Republic of China, at a news conference in Washington DC on signing a trade agreement with the United States, April 11, 2006. Getty Images / Alex Wong

Chinese government official; stepped down as Vice Premier of the State Council as economic overseer in March 2008

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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Famous and Powerful Women of the Decade - 2000-2009." ThoughtCo, Jan. 13, 2017, thoughtco.com/famous-and-powerful-women-of-2000s-4122807. Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2017, January 13). Famous and Powerful Women of the Decade - 2000-2009. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-and-powerful-women-of-2000s-4122807 Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Famous and Powerful Women of the Decade - 2000-2009." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-and-powerful-women-of-2000s-4122807 (accessed November 25, 2017).