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2020 has been a tumultuous year for everyone. We have dealt with immeasurably grief and loss, isolation, fear, and more throughout this pandemic. Fortunately, there are people out there who decided to stand up and do their best to lead us in a better direction. Let’s take a look at four leaders who shined during 2020 as featured in Forbes

Amadou Sall

In Africa, resources for Covid testing were extremely scarce. In fact, there were only two labs in the entire continent. Sall’s institute was one of them, and there he worked with U.K. diagnostic company “Mologic” to create a more efficient way to test. The virologist worked to create a “point-of-care” device that delivers results in just 10 minutes. The test will be manufactured in Senegal and will cost only $1.


Rihanna became one of the first celebrities to use their wealth to aid in the pandemic by announcing her non-profit’s pledge of $5 million. The money will go directly to providing for families affected by the pandemic. $2 million of her contribution includes a partnership with Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation, plus efforts to ICU supplies and tests to Malawi and Haiti.

Shirin Rouhani

Dr. Rouhani was a standout medical personnel during the covid crisis. She even continued to treat patients after she was infected with the virus because she was so short on staff to assist her. After her death, many Iranians used social media to share photos of her hard at work to fight this virus and save as many people as possible during Iran’s severe outbreak. #RipShirinRouhani was the hashtag of the viral photo and story of the selfless doctor. 

José Andrés

This restaurateur and chef decided to prioritize helping others over making money during the Covid crisis. He not only provided desperately-needed jobs for restaurant employees, he also forklifted food onto quarantine ships and served about 100,000 meals a day to essential workers and people in covid hotspots. He is now working on transforming the Washington Nationals baseball stadium into a huge community kitchen to feed Washing