Jacinda Ardern has been recognised by an international science journal for her "quick and decisive" actions at the height of the pandemic.
The research journal Nature has included the Prime Minister in its annual list of 10 people who were part of big stories in science in 2020.
The publication said Ardern had won international praise for her "quick and decisive" actions that kept New Zealand "relatively safe from Covid-19 while also maintaining the trust of citizens".
The "Nature's 10" list of 2020 has a strong focus on Covid-19, with Ardern sitting alongside familiar faces of the pandemic.
World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus rallied nations to respond to a new virus threat while navigating "intense criticism" over the agency's handling of the crisis, the journal said
Meanwhile, the man who became the public face of the pandemic in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci, provided "reputable information to a concerned population while challenging the misinformation spread by President Donald Trump".
The list also includes Chinese epidemiologist Li Lanjuan for quickly recognising the threat of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan and convincing the central government to lock down the city before a national holiday, helping to slow the virus' spread.
Beyond Covid-19, US cosmologist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein was included on the list for her work to shut down science for a day in June to highlight systemic anti-Black racism in science institutions after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by Minneapolis police.
Indonesian public-health researcher, Adi Utarini, helped lead a pioneering trial to combat dengue infections using mosquitoes bred to block transmission of the virus responsible for the disease, Nature said.
Verena Mohaupt, the German logistics chief for an international Arctic mission, worked to keep roughly 300 researchers safe from polar bears, extreme cold and themselves while their ship was locked in sea ice for a year.
Nature's chief features editor, Rich Monastersky, said the people on the list were part of the biggest events in science from around the world in 2020.
"Taken together, the stories of these 10 people illuminate some of the greatest scientific and societal challenges the world has faced this year."
This is not the first time Ardern has been recognised internationally for her actions as Prime Minister.
While guest-editing the Forces of Change issue of British Vogue magazine last year, Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle picked Ardern as one of the faces to grace the cover.
Ardern was featured alongside celebrities such as Laverne Cox and Jane Fonda.
Earlier this year, Ardern was tipped to win the world's most prestigious award – the Nobel Peace Prize – but missed out to the World Food Programme.
In November, Ardern joined the ranks of Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela, when she received the Gleitsman International Activist Award.
The Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership award honoured Ardern for her leadership, decisive action, and commitment to reformative and inclusive policies.
Ardern put the $150,000 prize money towards a scholarship for a New Zealand student at Harvard Kennedy School.