Dilma Rousseff
 MPW economy dilma roussef

President, Brazil

Brazil's growth has exploded in recent years, making it one of the world's largest economies as well as one of its most coveted markets. But the country's economic engine has sputtered. Now, facing slowing growth and rising inflation, Rousseff has rolled out a set of policies designed to bring down the cost of doing business, an effort viewed as a concession to private industry over federal employees. The moves have surprised many, given Rousseff's role as leader of Brazil's Workers' party and her personal history as a part of a militant communist group in her 20s, when she was arrested and tortured by the military dictatorship. As a result of the reforms, hundreds of thousands of government workers have staged walkouts in recent months, demanding higher pay among other concessions. So far Rousseff has held firm, and with an approval rating north of 70%, much of the population seems hopeful her approach will jump-start growth.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated September 25 2012 12:48 PM ET
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