Meet World's Next Most Powerful Woman
Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's likely next president and former guerrilla
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2010 11:20 AM CDT
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff during a campaign rally in Campinas, Brazil, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
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(Newser) – You might not have heard of her, but Dilma Rousseff is likely to be the most powerful woman in the world about a week from now. The stout 63-year-old ex-guerrilla and cancer survivor is poised to become Brazil's next president in elections next Sunday, reports the Independent, with a 50%-to-30% lead in polls virtually guaranteeing that the protege of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will succeed him.

Thanks to Brazil's booming economy and 200-million-strong population, that places her ahead of other female political luminaries such as Angela Merkel and Hillary Clinton. Rousseff, who was imprisoned and tortured as a leader of a group that resisted a Western-backed military regime, has been a key player in Lula's economic revitalization efforts, as well as his attack on widespread poverty. For the rest of the profile, click here.