Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Andrea Towers
December 09, 2015 AT 03:40 PM EST

TIME magazine announced German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Person of the Year, marking only the fourth time a woman has been chosen to grace the cover since 1927. 

TIME praised Merkel’s work, citing her involvement with Syrian refugees, the Greek debt crisis, and her response to Vladmir Putin’s “creeping theft of the Ukraine.” But it was her daring commitment to her work and her willingness to take a stand that editor Nancy Gibbs explained ultimately made her TIME’s top choice. 

“Leaders are tested only when people don’t want to follow,” wrote Gibbs. “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.”


“Europe’s most powerful leader” beat out a number of 2015 short list contenders including Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump, the civil rights movement Black Lives Matter, ISIS head Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Uber founder Travis Kalanick and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.

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