Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles I'm Nancy Gibbs, I'm the Managing Editor of TIME and the person of the year for 2013 is Pope Francis [MUSIC] I'm here with Radhika Jones the Deputy Managing Editor who ran the whole POY process so Radhika why the Pope? The Pope came on to the scene in March with this kind of almost it was like fanfare and also the opposite a fanfare he immediately made his presence felt in a way that that seemed different from from Popes in recent memory. He's now head of the Catholic Church 1.2 billion-strong followers and the largest ongoing historical institution in the world so he's in a position of immense power. But he introduced himself as a man of great humility even in a very short amount of time he's only been Pope for 9 months. He really has refocused a conversation that's global putting more emphasis on poverty and the poor putting emphasis on inequality of wealth these are conversations that that we've been having as a nation that we've been having globally but without really an international figure to preside over them. The pope has put himself in the position of being that figure. [crowd noise] How would you compare him as a leader to the other leaders on the scene? He obviously has less power and some literal sense he doesn't have armies to deploy and yet his leadership seems like it has really as you say captured people's imagination. Well one thing that we often talk about a person of the year is that balance between institutional power and individual power and in this case you have a man with with nominal power but someone who's using it in ways but feel almost like a grassroots initiative. We had many many conversations about an interesting other man with a mission who also came out of nowhere this year and that is Edward Snowden. Edward Snowden a 29-year-old contractor working with the National Security Agency suddenly left his job flew to Hong Kong and revealed himself as the sources of major leaks from the NSA and he like the pope having disrupted the system has also continued to to provide us with news over the past six months. You know, one of the things that we love about putting this issue together is that as much as it's about the choice and the person appears on the cover we also want to put together magazine and a package online that really captures the whole year and all of the major news stories that happen and I would say that the story generated by Edward Snowden that of surveillance by the NSA and in general the concept of digital surveillance and how that security that comes from that intersects with personal privacy that was a huge story this year. Another figure that, also I think many of us would not have recognized or imagined would be on the short list this year just a year ago is the freshman senator from Texas Ted Cruz [Crowd Noise] Ted Cruz is a fascinating figure on this list and in away he represents what didn't happen this year in American government which is a lot of lawmaking. I think it was the least effective congress in terms of bills passed in recorded history. Ted Cruz is an incredibly fractious politician he instigated the initiative to defund Obamacare that eventually led to the government shutdown for 16 days. Which some would argue really hurt the Republican brand. Many would argue it really hurt Ted Cruz but if you talk to Ted Cruz about it he would say that fallout from the shutdown has only made him a stronger force. One name on the list who is not really a divisive figure of hero or villain would be Syrian President Bashar Assad. It was a particularly bad year in Syria. The Civil War has been going on for a couple years death toll has risen to a hundred thousand. There are now than two million Syrian refugees and of course this summer saw the alleged use by the Assad regime of chemical weapons to kill not only adults but also about 400 children something that really touched the world and and suggested and to President Obama among others that America and other countries should intervene that didn't happen he's still there still exercising a whole lot of power and still flummoxing leaders in the west In terms of how to effect any change in regime and he's a major player in the politics of the region which remains a real hot spot globally. And then the last person on our short list may be as surprised as anyone to find herself there and it's Edith Windsor. We really wanted to capture this shift that I think we've all seen happen in the United States over the past year to do with gay rights and gay marriage in particular. Edith Windsor's case came before the Supreme Court this year and her victory resulted in the overturning of DOMA the Defense of Marriage Act which discriminated against gay marriages in states where those marriages had been legal. She's 84 years old. She was fighting for the right to spousal benefits after her spouse had died and in the time since that verdict came down she has become a real icon of the gay rights movement and has really embraced that role it's wonderful to see and wonderful to read about.