LEO VARADKAR

Taoiseach, Irish Republic

When Leo Varadkar became Taoiseach, or Irish prime minister, in 2017, he broke barriers for a country long defined by religious conservatism and ethnicity. A center-right Indo-Irish doctor, Varadkar, is Ireland's youngest-ever leader, as we well as its first non-white and first openly gay one.  

However, he may best remembered for how he navigates Brexit. In 2018, negotiations over Ireland's land border with the UK not only proved intractable, but fanned fears of a return to sectarian violence. He has stoked nationalist sentiments at home while trying to soften a UK-EU divorce that could have disastrous consequences for his economy, and longevity.

BRILLIANT 2018

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