The annual list of 100 people was unveiled Thursday.
Barra shares the list with the likes of Pope Francis, Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé, Robert Redford and Jason Collins.
Lee Iacocca, who wrote Barra's profile for the magazine, refers to her as the "executive in the hot seat."
Iacocca, the former president of Ford and former CEO of Chrysler, compared the two's similar background.
"She grew up in a working-class family, as did I, and fell in love with cars at a very young age," he said. "If she remains as forthcoming as I've seen her on television with Congress, she will enjoy a long tenure at the helm."
The government is investigating why it took GM more than a decade to recall small cars with a defective ignition switch. GM has linked the switch to 13 deaths.
Barra spent two days testifying before Congress.
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