Myanmar's pro-democracy icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi occupied the sixth place in the list.
"For over 50 years, the Dalai Lama, 79, has campaigned tirelessly for peace, non-violence, democracy and reconciliation, especially among world religions," Fortune said Thursday.
The top 10 leaders in the list are Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ford Motor chief executive officer (CEO) Alan Mulally, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, former US president Bill Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi, Commander of US Force in Afghanistan Gen. Joe Dunford, US singer Bono, Dalai Lama and Amazon.com. CEO Jeff Bezos.
The magazine said "serving in an influential role" was not necessarily enough to land a spot.
"We have drawn a distinction between leaders and people who are admirable and powerful but who are not transformative leaders."