Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012

Mario Monti

Age: 68
Occupation: Italian Prime Minster

Monti was tapped to lead Italy as the anti–Silvio Berlusconi: a staid, sober technocrat bent on enacting reforms to remedy Italy's crippling debt crisis. In diligently doing that, however, Monti has surprised people by demonstrating he's got ideas of his own. After accepting Franco-German-imposed austerity cures, Monti gave voice to a silent majority across Europe insisting growth stimulus is also needed so spending cuts don't provoke a recession. That contrarian frankness turned heads — and strengthens Monti's leadership bona fides across Europe.