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  • Golden 25 -- #5 Dilma Rousseff


    Dilma Rousseff (ATR)
    (ATR) For Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, 2014 could be the defining year of her career.

    The World Cup is just months away and the Rio 2016 Olympics is on the horizon. Strong leadership can help to resolve some of the bureaucracies at various levels of government that have hindered preparations on both projects.

    In her three years as Brazil’s first female president, the 66-year-old has earned a high approval rating. The World Cup will have a massive impact on her chances of re-election in October.

    A successful football tournament will enhance her presidential credentials and add to the feel-good factor around the nation. But any major hiccups in the coming months and during the month-long competition itself could damage Rousseff’s campaign to secure another term.

    For instance, a repeat of the anti-government protests that tarnished the Confederations Cup would be a serious test.

    Given the IOC’s concerns around the Rio 2016 Games, she must also make sure that delivery of the World Cup does not distract from Olympic preparations. A January date with IOC president Thomas Bach looms. He is keen to stress the “no time to lose” message and forge a bond with Rousseff.

    A mark of her leadership qualities will be what she does following talks with Bach to drive forward progress across the Rio Olympic project.

    2013 ranking: unranked

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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