Ma'an News Agency
December 2, 2009 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was ranked 61 on the American magazine Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers list published this week.

Fayyad earned his spot, the report said, "for showing how to govern effectively in the middle of a conflict."

Summing up his contribution to global leadership, the magazine wrote:

"With his boss tottering and peace talks stagnating, Fayyad has emerged as the last, best hope for a permanent settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Fayyad, who holds a Ph.D. in economics, rose to prominence as the IMF's representative in the Palestinian territories, where he subsequently became finance minister. In June 2007, he was promoted to prime minister, finally giving him the authority to root out corruption and embark on institutional reforms, such as making the Palestinian Authority's notoriously opaque annual budget public. Now, he is calling for the creation of a Palestinian state within two years -- regardless of the progress of peace talks. With the West Bank's economy projected to grow 7 percent in 2009, Fayyad is building a reputation as an effective guarantor of his people's economic and political welfare. In this region, that's no small thing."

The report also noted Fayyad's reading list, which included Palestinian Walks, by Raja Shehadeh; The World Is Flat, by Thomas Friedman; Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

Other notes about the Palestinian leader were:

Wants to visit: South Africa

Best idea: Obama's "reaching-out" doctrine.

Worst idea: That keeping Gaza under siege is working

Number 62 was Chinese legal activist Xu Zhiyong, and 60, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, a political scientist who reportedly predicted the second Palestinian Intifada.

Top on the list was American Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke, "for staving off a new Great Depression," and two was US President Barack Obama, "for reimagining America's role in the world."


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017