Time magazine has revealed the shortlist for its 2022 Person of the Year, with plans to name the winner on Wednesday.
The next Person of the Year will be revealed exclusively to NBC’s “Today” show, which also obtained a copy of the shortlist.
The magazine has awarded the honorary title since 1927, last year giving the distinction to billionaire Elon Musk.
Here are the candidates for Time’s 2022 Person of the Year.
Musk is nominated once again, with a chance to win the title for the second year in a row.
Last year, Time cited the Tesla and SpaceX CEO’s contributions toward “creating solutions to an existential crisis” and for “embodying the possibilities and perils of the age of tech titans.”
The magazine faced criticism for selecting Musk, the world’s richest man, as the 2021 Person of the Year, a move that came the same year ProPublica reported the billionaire paid nothing or very little in income taxes in the past.
This year, Musk dominated the spotlight with his purchase of Twitter for $44 billion. Musk has made a series of controversial changes at the social media company, leading to concerns about Twitter’s future.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who cemented a historic third term for himself this year, was previously nominated in 2019 after China oversaw implementation of a national security law critics say repealed the self-autonomy of special district Hong Kong.
This year, China once again clashed with the US over the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan, renewing fears of a potential Chinese invasion of its neighbour.
Recent protests have swept China as many call for an end to the government’s “zero COVID” policy, one of the strictest coronavirus enforcements in the world. Some demonstrators have even demanded Xi’s ouster in the biggest challenge to the Chinese Communist Party in decades.
The Supreme Court
The US Supreme Court overturned the nearly 50-year-old case precedent Roe v. Wade in June, enacting one of the most controversial rulings in the high court’s modern history.
With abortion no longer protected under the Constitution, the ruling opened the door for about half of the states to severely restrict abortion access.
Justice Clarence Thomas was also among the most controversial figures in the news this year, after his wife was reportedly involved with the Trump administration’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
And Thomas called for a reexamination of the constitutionally protected right to a same-sex marriage, which set off congressional action.
Outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) captured the attention of many Americans this year as she became the face of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Cheney helped lead the committee’s hearings over the summer highlighting former President Trump’s role in the attacks and his efforts to overturn the election. The committee is also preparing a final report on Jan. 6.
She lost her primary battle against a Trump-backed opponent and is a pariah to many in the GOP but hasn’t ruled out a potential presidential bid.
The Ukrainian president shot to international fame this year while ferociously defending his country against a Russian invasion.
Zelensky is known for his green shirt and tough, no-nonsense demeanor — but also his frequent, warm and reassuring addresses to the Ukrainian people.
The president has in recent months led Ukraine to victory after victory, pushing Russian forces back and reclaiming lost territory.
Scott is the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos but has made a huge name for herself as a philanthropist.
With a 4 percent stake in Amazon, Scott has given more than $13 billion to charity to date, working towards a pledge to give away most of her fortune.
Last month, Scott announced $2 billion in donations to 343 organizations.
Protesters in Iran
Protests have swept across Iran since mid-September after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. Amini was arrested for improperly wearing a hijab.
The historic protests have created an unprecedented challenge for the Iranian government, which has cracked down hard with security forces and killed an estimated hundreds of protesters.
At the World Cup, the Iranian soccer team refused to sing the national anthem in a show of support for protesters.
Florida’s governor has surged to the top of the Republican Party’s star list and evolved into something of a foil to Trump.
DeSantis cruised to reelection in November and is increasingly talked about as a potential 2024 presidential candidate.
The Florida governor also captured attention for sending a plane full of migrants to the wealthy community of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., this fall.
And in the spring, DeSantis stripped Disney of its right to self-govern a district in Florida after the media giant spoke out against a state bill limiting the discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation from kindergarten through third grade.
Yellen made history when she became the first female Treasury secretary in 2021.
This year, she oversaw the rollout of the American Women Quarters Program, which is designed to honor historic and trailblazing women on the nation’s official quarters.
Yellen worked this year to reassure Americans about the economy amid high inflation and soaring gas prices.
Gun safety advocates
While the US is rocked by gun violence every year, 2022 was particularly painful for many Americans.
The mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, shocked the nation and was one of the deadliest school shootings in US history. The tragedy led to the first bipartisan law on gun control in decades.
After Uvalde — and a deadly hate attack in Buffalo, NY — thousands demonstrated across the US to call for stricter gun control laws.