Women on Top Awards: The Transformers

For Marie Claire's third annual Women on Top Awards, we combed the country for the up-and-comers leading thought-revolutions, creating businesses, and making names for themselves in fields from the military to the arts. None is a day over 40, with a couple of notable exceptions: We've added a "Super Woman" category to celebrate women of any age who made their mark on 2012. But their accomplishments speak for themselves...

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October 22, 2012 9:33 AM
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2. Top Reporter

Lara Setrakian, 30, correspondent, ABC News

Résumé: Dubai-based Armenian-American newshound, Setrakian, is hauling ABC into the 21st century with her old-school reporting chops (tagging along with a U.S. Navy pirate patrol to score an early interview with the new Somalian president) and modern take on breaking news (live-tweeting the Iranian elections and Arab Spring riots).

Path to the Top: "I interned at Good Morning America in college. [Then-coanchor] Diane Sawyer always wanted story ideas, so I pitched a segment on prescription drug abuse on college campuses. When my story ran and I was credited as the producer, I'd proved I had something to offer."

Defining Moment: "I reported from Dubai during the Iranian elections in 2009. On June 13, the day after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 'won,' the major networks left the country, but huge protests and riots were just starting. My Twitter feed was exploding with descriptions of the chaos. I retweeted like crazy, so I became a pipeline of information. My followers jumped from 2,000 to 10,000 overnight — now I have 84,000."

Frequent Flier: "Sometimes I take a 12-hour flight only to be on the ground for a day. I survive by never drinking alcohol on the plane, carrying almonds and dried fruit, and bringing eyeshades to sleep. I pack superlight, but I always bring my lucky Tory Burch military jacket. It makes me feel like a 'news soldier.'"