Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, who only got her high school diploma last year, has made it onto Foreign Policy magazine’s 2019 Global Thinkers list.
The magazine says Susi is committed to “regenerating her country’s vital fish stocks in ways that are accumulating both fans and enemies.”
“She doesn’t shy away from using scare tactics—Susi is known for blowing up boats that have been caught fishing illegally in Indonesia’s territorial waters,” it says.
Her “brusque approach” has encouraged a major downturn in poaching “but also a rise in diplomatic tensions with China.”
Marking its 10th anniversary, Foreign Policy has published the list comprising 10 categories with 10 people each.
Susi is named under the category of Defense and Security, along with Germany Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, Iran’s Quds Force commander, Qassem Suleimani, Mexican Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Vladislav Surkov, as well as journalist and founder of Bellingcat Eliot Higgins, cofounder and CEO of Palantir, Alex Karp, and president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell.
Susi is perhaps the first female school dropout to have been appointed minister in the country.
She received her high school diploma in July last year. She took a high school equivalency examination at SMA 1 state senior high school in Pangandaran regency, West Java, on May 11-13. Susi passed the test with 429 points from seven subjects, giving her the highest score among the 569 participants in the exam.
Susi had registered for the exam in 2015. However, given her busy schedule as a minister, she only got down to taking the exam this year, Antara news agency reported.
In 2017, Susi was named among the BBC’s 100 inspirational and innovative women.
Susi was the only Indonesian woman on the list.