Klaus Schwab

Adam Berry/Bloomberg

Klaus Schwab

Founder and Chairman, World Economic Forum
Switzerland

After founding the World Economic Forum in 1971, Klaus Schwab has been at the center of the annual Davos event for almost 40 years. The German native opened this year's conference calling on participants to "address the new reality and embrace the scene of our annual meeting 2010, improving the state of the world, rethinking, redesigning, and rebuilding." Though Schwab retains a relatively low public profile and doesn't play power broker, he works tirelessly behind the scenes to advance a vision of global cooperation.