President Kaljulaid among Forbes’ 100 most powerful women

The Estonian president, Kersti Kaljulaid, has become the first Estonian to be featured in the Forbes magazine’s list, the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

Kaljulaid comes in the list at number 78, just a spot ahead of Arianna Huffington, an American entrepreneur.

“Kaljulaid is leading a quiet digital revolution in tiny Estonia (population 1.2 million), where she is the country’s first female president,” Forbes said. “Estonia was the first country to digitize its public services – including elections, health care and school systems.”

“Robot delivery vehicles are a common site in the country’s capital (actually not that common yet – editor) and every citizen is given a digital number at birth which they can use to do everything from filing taxes to voting,” the magazine added. “Kaljulaid is currently spearheading a bid to launch Estonia’s own state-backed cryptocurrency, called estcoin – and is helping spread the digital revolution into Europe.”

The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list is topped by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, followed by the British prime minister, Theresa May, and the American philanthropist, Melinda Gates.

Kaljulaid was elected Estonian president on 3 October 2016.

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Cover: Kersti Kaljulaid.

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.