Barack Obama

Tim Sloan/Bloomberg

Barack Obama

President
U.S.

Call him the X-factor: President Obama isn't even attending the Davos World Economic Forum but he's arguably the most significant presence at the entire event. From his last-ditch effort to save the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December and his controversial plan announced Jan. 21 to stiffen U.S. bank regulations, to his State of the Union address delivered Jan. 27—smack in the middle of Davos—Obama's influence and policy initiatives dominate much of the conversation at the Swiss gathering. Along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning President has dramatically improved America's standing overseas and moved it squarely back into the center of the global dialogue.