Jacinda Ardern pens tribute to Dr Ayesha Verrall in TIME Magazine

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has written a glowing tribute for Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall who has been featured in the latest issue of TIME Magazine.

The magazine revealed its second-annual Next 100 list, which celebrates emerging leaders who are shaping the future.

"Everyone on this list is poised to make history," said Dan Macsai, the editorial director of the TIME100. "And in fact, many already have."

Included in the list are artists, poets, actors, leaders, activists, and New Zealand Labour MP and infectious diseases expert Dr Ayesha Verrall, who was recognised under the Innovators category.

Each person included has a profile written, with many by TIME100 alumni. 

Dr Verrall's profile was written by Jacinda Ardern, who has featured in the magazine before, including on the cover, in the magazine's list of 100 most influential people, and she was also nominated for Time's Person of the Year in 2020.

"In 2020, the world discovered a new set of heroes: people who have committed their lives to understanding infectious diseases, whose expertise in the throes of the pandemic became lifesaving. Dr Ayesha Verrall is one such person," Ardern wrote.

"She has spent her career seeking to stop the spread of infectious diseases, and in a moment of global crisis, she used her knowledge to advocate a science-based approach to tackling COVID-19 and improving contact tracing that has helped save lives in New Zealand, especially among those most vulnerable."

She said that Dr Verrall understands the link between infectious diseases and inequality, and her wisdom was why Ardern wanted her in Cabinet.

"I feel privileged that in Ayesha, we have someone with expertise, with passion, but also with heart, someone who can tell you the stories of past patients who have touched her as naturally as she can talk about the complexities of disease.

"A compassionate expert, she is the kind of leader the world needs in this moment, and for many years to come."

Verrall is currently the minister for seniors, minister for food safety, associate minister of health, and associate minister of research, science and innovation.

Also included in the list are singer Dua Lipa, who was written about by Kylie Minogue, as well as poet Amanda Gorman, who performed at US President Joe Biden's inauguration, who's bio was written by Hamilton playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Bridgerton actor Regé-Jean Page also featured, alongside Queen's Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy, and TikTok star Charli D’Amelio.