Wednesday 5: Notable Women from TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World

TIME 100

This year, 41 women made the list of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World—a record number of women for the annual list. Nancy Gibbs of TIME defined  the criteria to be deemed “influential.” She remarked, “The vast majority of this year’s roster reveals that while power is certain, influence is subtle. Power is a tool, influence is a skill; one is a fist, the other a fingertip.”

Even with the 30-something-year old Beyoncé on the cover, we found it applaudable that of those 41 women selected by TIME, 27 of them are 40 years old or older. Many of these women are already quite known. However, we found a few notable and exemplary women on the list that are not household names—although they ought to be, given the incredible work they are doing in advancing and influencing our global world via their roles as television writers, hunger activists, chefs, priests, and  . . . 


Jenji Kohan

Jenji Kohan is an American television writer, producer, and director, most widely known as the creator of the Showtime comedy-drama Weeds and the Netflix comedy-drama Orange Is the New Black.  She has received seven Emmy Award nominations, winning one as supervising producer of the comedy series Tracey Takes On . . . 


“Jenji was one of the first creators to sign on to make content for Netflix, making her a bold early disrupter of the television model. And we are all the better for it. Just as important and in a way that is shamefully rare today, Jenji’s characters are a breathtaking riot of color and sexual orientation onscreen. . . Jenji shows a passion for diversity by creating characters of all backgrounds who are three-dimensional, flawed and sometimes unpleasant, but always human.” —Shonda Rhimes


Ertharin Cousin

Ertharin Cousin is, since 2012, the twelfth Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme. 

“As a young girl growing up in a lower-income neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, Ertharin Cousin understood from an early age the importance of a family’s ability to put food on the table. That innate conscience and connection with the plight of others continues to fuel her sense of mission . . . Having been fortunate enough to know her since our service in the Clinton White House, I know that global hunger has met its match.”—Rahm Emanuel 


Alice Waters

Alice Waters is an American chef, restaurateur, activist, and author. She founded the Chez Panisse Foundation in 1996, and created the Edible Schoolyard program at the Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, California. Waters serves as a public policy advocate on the national level for school lunch reform and universal access to healthy, organic foods, and the impact of her organic and healthy food revolution is typified by Michelle Obama’s White House organic vegetable garden. 

“Alice Waters is a revolutionary who wants to change the world through food . . . She proved the power of a chef, showing an entire generation that one passionate person can reshape the eating habits of a nation.”—Ruth Reichl


Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Brown Taylor is an American Episcopal priest, professor, and theologian and is one of the United States’ best known preachers.

“Few souls are as synched to the world’s mysteries as Barbara Brown Taylor’s. An acclaimed Episcopal preacher and best-selling author, Taylor lives quietly on her farm in northern Georgia, writing spiritual nonfiction that rivals the poetic power of C.S. Lewis and Frederick Buechner. Her latest book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, is her 13th, and in it she urges believers and nonbelievers alike to dive into the deepest shadows of their lives in order to confront their worst fears and to find strength for life’s journey.”—Elizabeth Dias


Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe runs a home in Gulu, Uganda, for women and girls whose lives have been shattered by violence, rape, and sexual exploitation.

“At the Saint Monica Girls’ Tailoring Center she runs, those women can become themselves again, thanks to the security and comfort they feel—a tremendous accomplishment in a country still fragile from years of civil war . . . For girls who were forcibly enlisted as child soldiers, Sister Rosemary has the power to rekindle a bright light in eyes long gone blank. For women with unwanted children born out of conflict, she allows them to become loving mothers at last. The traumas she heals are unfathomable, but the reach of her love is boundless.”—Forest Whitaker

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  • Cathy Chester April 30, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Hooray for this list and the influential women who go after what they want, living their passions and giving back to the world.