Through a piece penned by Ressa, who was also recognized by the magazine in 2018 as its Person of the Year, Time honored Clooney's dedication to defending human rights defenders, especially women.
Other honorees include actress Kerry Washington, poet Amanda Gorman, singer Kacey Musgraves, social entrepreneur Amanda Nguyen, and Afghan journalist Zahra Joya.
"Sit with the 44-year-old lawyer, and she’ll take you on a tour of some of the worst places in the world, where despots reign and standing up for your rights can get you killed. Yet, inevitably, she finds women in these places who want to challenge power, and she supercharges them with her own power: the law. I know that because I’m one of them," wrote Ressa, who Clooney and her team has been defending since 2019 from the 10 arrest warrants filed against her.
Commending Clooney's work ethic, including her attention to details, Ressa noted how the work of the British-Lebanese barrister, who happens to be actor George Clooney's wife, often gets overshadowed because of her husband's celebrity status.
Aside from being a wife and mother to twins, Ressa said Amal deserves to be recognized for her job of making sure "that women who are victims of mass atrocities, including genocide and sexual violence, are not forgotten, that they get justice, that their lives and communities are better as a result".
Asked about her advice to young women, Clooney was quoted saying:
"Reach for the stars and believe in yourselves, and know that the only thing you can regret is not trying. A lot of success is down to luck and hard work, but it’s also down to having the courage to go for it. Even if you don’t know if you can do it. Even if you’ve never done it before. Even if you don’t know anyone who’s done it. Just shifting your thinking away from 'Why me?' and instead to 'Why not me?'"
Time is set to honor Clooney and her fellow awardees in an invite-only gala on International Women’s Day, March 8.