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Washington's most powerful women

Meet the women calling the shots in Washington and beyond.

1. Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
Last year's rank: 1

Clinton proved her diplomatic mettle -- and her influence in the White House -- by deftly steering the administration's foreign policy team through the Arab Spring, the most complex and tumultuous period on the international scene in a generation. She's also been at the center of American coordination with Europe, a key element of the Obama administration's multilateral approach.

By Tory Newmyer, writer - Last updated September 29 2011: 3:11 PM ET
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The power 50

The full list of Fortune's annual ranking of America's leading businesswomen.