Angela Merkel Named Time Magazine's Person of the Year

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on during the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on September 16. Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

In a nod to her decision to open her country's borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees, as well as her handling of the terrorism threat that has recently put Europe on high alert, Time magazine named German Chancellor Angela Merkel its Person of the Year on Wednesday.

Merkel, 61, has led Germany for a decade. Throughout 2015, she has stepped into leadership during various tense situations across Europe—including throughout the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, amid Greece's financial meltdown and after a deadly series of coordinated attacks in Paris.

"Germany would bail Greece out, on her strict terms. It would welcome refugees as casualties of radical Islamist savagery, not carriers of it. And it would deploy troops abroad in the fight against ISIS," Time editor Nancy Gibbs said in a statement. "You can agree with her or not, but she is not taking the easy road."

Merkel became the first female chancellor of Germany when she assumed the position in November 2005. She is the first individual woman to receive Person of the Year since the magazine changed its title from Man of the Year in 1999, and she is the fourth woman to receive the magazine's year-end honor since 1927. Before 1999, four women were named as Woman of the Year: Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong Mei-ling (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986).

The German chancellor was followed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State militant group, who came in second, and U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who placed third. The magazine also cited as finalists the Black Lives Matter protest movement and Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick.

Angela Merkel Named Time Magazine's Person of the Year | World