Who will be TIME's 2019 Person of the Year? See the shortlist

The magazine's editors have announced the contenders who are in the running for the 2019 Person of the Year distinction.
/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

The day is almost here for TIME to reveal its 2019 Person of the Year.

The magazine narrowed down its 10-person shortlist on Tuesday to the five candidates that TIME editors will consider for the person who has most influenced the world in the past year.

TIME has made the designation every year since 1927. Last year, TIME editors selected "The Guardians and the War on Truth," a group of four journalists and one news organization whose work landed them in jail or cost them their lives.

Who will be TIME's Person of the Year this year?

The group included Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Maryland.

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Khashoggi is the Washington Post columnist murdered for his criticism of the Saudi crown prince; Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are two Reuters journalists who were arrested in Myanmar while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims; and Ressa is the editor of a Philippine news website known for its critical coverage of controversial president Rodrigo Duterte.

The Capital Gazette is the paper that had four journalists and a sales assistant killed by a gunman who opened fire in the newsroom.

The 2017 selection was "The Silence Breakers," the individuals who spoke up and brought national attention to sexual harassment and assault and the symbols of the #MeToo movement.

The magazine will reveal its Person of the Year live Wednesday on TODAY. Here are the candidates in no particular order.

Final 5:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks about the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. SAUL LOEB / AFP - Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

In her second stint as Speaker of the House, Pelosi has been a central figure in the impeachment proceedings involving the question of whether President Donald Trump and his administration withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for Ukrainian officials investigating the son of political rival Joe Biden.

Pelosi announced in September that the House of Representatives was launching an impeachment inquiry. Last week, she asked the House Judiciary Committee and chairmen of other committees to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment against Trump, saying "the president leaves us no choice but to act."

President Donald Trump speaks during a November 2019 rally in Sunrise, Florida.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

President Donald Trump

This is the fourth straight year that Trump has been on the list, which includes being named TIME Person of the Year in 2016 when he became the 45th president of the United States. He may become the third president ever to be impeached if the House of Representatives moves forward with the articles of impeachment this week. No president has ever been removed from office via impeachment. Trump has announced he will not participate in impeachment proceedings, according to a White House statement that calls the inquiry "completely baseless."

The anonymous CIA whistleblower has loomed large over the impeachment proceedings involving President Trump. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The Whistleblower

The anonymous CIA officer shook up the U.S. government by triggering the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump by reporting the contents of a phone call Trump shared with the president of Ukraine. He submitted a nine-page memo, outlining evidence that he believed showed Trump had used the power of his office to force Ukraine into investigating political rival Joe Biden to help with Trump's reelection campaign.

The whistleblower's account may ultimately lead to the House of Representatives filing articles of impeachment against Trump, who has regularly attacked the anonymous person. Congressional Republicans have also called for the whistleblower to be publicly identified.

A group of whistleblowers were previously selected for the honor by TIME in 2002 for bringing to light the massive accounting scandals at Enron and Worldcom as well as the FBI's mishandling of information from the 9/11 attacks.

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg participates in a youth climate change protest in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in September. SHANNON STAPLETON / Reuters

Greta Thunberg

The teen activist has become a prominent face in the fight to save the environment in the face of climate change. The 16-year-old from Sweden was the catalyst in a host of student-led strikes involving more than a million students across the world in the last two years when she began spending her school days protesting outside the Swedish parliament.

Thunberg sailed from England to New York for a United Nations climate change conference in August instead of flying because it's harmful to the environment. She drew worldwide notice for her fiery speech at the United Nations in September, where she accused world leaders of stealing her dreams and her childhood with their inaction on climate change.

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters participate in a "5 Demands" mass rally on Dec. 1 in Hong Kong. Chris McGrath / Getty Images

The Hong Kong Protesters

Waves of demonstrations have swept across the special administrative region of China in response to proposed amendments to Hong Kong's extradition law. The change would allow the Hong Kong government to extradite people to mainland China, where human rights groups have said citizens are often arbitrarily imprisoned for speaking out against the government. Critics of the bill have viewed it as the Chinese government in Beijing trying to exert more control over Hong Kong.

The protests began in earnest in June, when more than a million people protested against the bill in front of Hong Kong's legislature, with police firing rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd. The bill has been indefinitely suspended, but pro-democracy protests have continued for months, including a transportation strike and demonstrators taking over the Hong Kong airport. They also have demanded that the nearly 5,000 protesters who have been arrested be released as well as universal suffrage for Hong Kong citizens.

In 2011, "The Protester" was named the TIME Person of the Year to represent global protest movements like the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement, in addition to protests in Greece, Russia and elsewhere.

Opinary

Editor's note: The above image shows the results of our poll, which we closed Dec. 12. This article was shared widely among social media groups in support of the Hong Kong protesters, which is where the majority of these votes came from.

Revisit others in the final 10:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Ben Margot / AP

Mark Zuckerberg

The co-founder and CEO of Facebook has been embroiled in multiple controversies during the past year over Facebook's issues with user data and privacy. Zuckerberg also has faced criticism over the social media platform’s policies on accepting political ads containing falsehoods as the country prepares for the 2020 presidential election.

Zuckerberg was selected as the TIME Person of the Year in 2010 as Facebook was in the midst of its rise to becoming a dominant social media platform.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with foreign delegates who were in China to attend the 2019 Imperial Springs International Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

Xi Jinping

The leader of China has been on the opposite side of the trade war with the U.S. and President Donald Trump, who set tariffs on a host of Chinese goods last year. The world's two largest economies have not reached any agreement in trade talks and have retaliated by escalating tariffs on both sides.

The Chinese leader also faces unrest in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China where an ongoing series of demonstrations have drawn the attention of the world. Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have railed against a proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to China, which critics fear would allow anyone protesting the Chinese government to be subject to extradition.

Megan Rapinoe was the star of the U.S. women's soccer team that captured the World Cup title. BENOIT TESSIER / Reuters

Megan Rapinoe

The U.S. soccer star was a lightning rod and a goal-scoring machine in leading the team to the World Cup title in July. She scored a tournament-leading six goals, including a goal in the championship game against the Netherlands. She recently won the Ballon d’Or as the women's soccer player of the year.

Rapinoe also sparred with President Donald Trump during the World Cup run after saying she would never visit the White House if the team won the tournament. She also has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights since publicly coming out as gay in 2012 and has joined with her teammates on the U.S. women's national team to fight to receive equal pay with the U.S. men's national team.

President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer is a previous TIME Person of the Year recipient from 2001, when he was the mayor of New York City during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has been a key figure in the impeachment proceedings against Trump after having spearheaded efforts in Ukraine to turn up information against Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

Jacinda Ardern

The prime minister of New Zealand has drawn attention for juggling motherhood with leading the country after giving birth to a daughter last year while in office. She has been an inspiration to working mothers after becoming the first world leader to bring her baby to a United Nations general assembly meeting because she was still breastfeeding her 3-month-old daughter at the time.

Ardern also took a strong stand on gun control after 51 people were killed in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March. Just weeks after the massacre, New Zealand passed a law banning most semiautomatic weapons.

Make sure to tune in to TODAY on Wednesday to find out whose face will grace the iconic TIME cover this year.