TIME magazine has named H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands to the 2016 TIME 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, in recognition of her work to advance financial inclusion.
As the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) since 2009, Queen Máxima has long been at the forefront of efforts to provide poor and vulnerable people with the financial tools they need to pull themselves out of poverty—an issue that has gained tremendous global attention in recent years. Working in close collaboration with partners around the world, she shines a strong light on the needs of the two billion people who remain financially excluded.
“With her firm grasp of the technical issues, political savvy and boundless energy, Queen Máxima has masterfully used her role as the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Advocate, her empathy and her easy laughter to cajole, encourage and support decisionmakers—from the hallowed halls of the financial-standard-setting bodies in Basel, Switzerland, to the female leaders of savings groups in rural villages,” Tilmann Ehrbeck wrote in TIME’s profile.
The TIME 100 list, now in its thirteenth year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals. As TIME Editor Nancy Gibbs has said, "The TIME 100 is a list of the world's most influential men and women, not its most powerful, though those are not mutually exclusive terms. While power is certain, influence is subtle. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year, we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow, so we can look around the corner to see what is coming."