Davos WEF
Davos WEF

World Economic Forum 2018: Who's at Davos this year?

Thousands of leaders from all over the world are scheduled to return to the snowy mountains of Davos, Switzerland, next week to discuss the latest global issues.

The main theme at this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting will be "Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World."

And with around 2,500 leaders from politics, finance, business and science expected to attend, CNBC takes a look at some of the top names due to make an appearance.

Donald Trump

Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a decision that raised eyebrows in Washington, President Donald Trump is poised to join the annual gathering of the rich and powerful at WEF in Davos.

Trump's visit to the Swiss Alpine town for the yearly event will be the first by a sitting U.S. president since Bill Clinton in 2000.

The 2018 forum will put Trump in the same room as many of the global elites he publicly attacked during his 2016 election campaign.

Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, 2016, when he was French finance minister.

French President Emmanuel Macron is also expected to attend WEF at Davos. As a pro-European centrist who supports free trade and defends liberal democratic values, his presence is due to be of heightened interest with Trump in attendance.

WEF is seen as a hub of globalization, and while Macron has espoused free trade deals since his election last May, Trump has decried the same deals as unfair to the U.S.

Macron is scheduled to speak for approximately 45 minutes on January 24.

Cate Blanchett

Photo: Getty Images

Cate Blanchett is set to be recognized for her "leadership in raising awareness of the refugee crisis" at the Annual Crystal Awards ceremony in Davos on Monday.

The internationally acclaimed actress was appointed as a Global Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2016. WEF will present Blanchett with the Crystal Award for "sharpening focus on the individual human stories that lie behind the vast numbers."

The Australian was also among the women who recently launched the "Time's Up" initiative against sexual harassment.

Shah Rukh Khan

Actor and tribute recipient Shah Rukh Khan arrives at Tribute to Shah Rukh Khan at 60th San Francisco Intenational Film Festival at Castro Theatre on April 14, 2017 in San Francisco, California.
Miikka Skaffari | Getty Images,

The 24th Annual Crystal Awards at Davos will also celebrate Shah Rukh Khan.

As one of Bollywood's most prominent actors over the past three decades, Khan is to be recognized for his "leadership in championing children's and women's rights in India."

Khan is the founder of the Meer Foundation, which offers support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment and livelihood support. The actor has also helped create specialized hospital wards for children undergoing cancer treatment.

Elton John

Founder Sir Elton John performs onstage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 13th Annual An Enduring Vision Benefit at Cipriani Wall Street on October 28, 2014 in New York City.
Larry Busacca | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

WEF will honor one of the world's most successful solo artists of all time Monday, in recognition of his "leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS."

Elton John will attend the global gathering of industry leaders, government ministers and activists in order to pick-up an accolade that celebrates his Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF). The initiative, founded in 1992, has raised more than $400 million to support hundreds of advocacy programs around the world.

In a career spanning five decades, Elton John has sold more than 250 million records worldwide.

Christine Lagarde

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Christine Lagarde will co-chair the upcoming meeting in Davos, alongside six other female business and political leaders. The conference has been criticized in previous years for lacking female representation.

Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), became the first woman to head the Washington-based institute in 2011, following a career in international law and the French government.

Angela Merkel

U.S. President Donald Trump (R), French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) at the start of the first working session of the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017.
John MacDougall | AFP | Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Switzerland on Wednesday, her spokesperson has confirmed.

Merkel is scheduled to speak on the same day as French President Emmanuel Macron and two days before President Donald Trump.

Jamie Dimon

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase
David A. Grogan | CNBC

J.P. Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon will also be in attendance at the WEF.

Earlier this month, Dimon backpedaled over his now infamous criticism of digital currencies. As one of the highest-profile executives on Wall Street, Dimon's dismissal of bitcoin as a "fraud" had infuriated many in the cryptocurrency community.

However, when asked about his previous comments in an interview with Fox Business this month, Dimon replied: "I regret making them."

Lloyd Blankfein

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
Getty Images

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein confirmed he will once again return to the snowy mountains to attend WEF.

A fervent critic of the Trump administration, the Goldman chief has frequently scolded the U.S. president on Twitter. Most recently, Blankfein posted a picture of the Statue of Liberty through a thick layer of fog with the caption: "View from our building today reminds me that despite all the sh-t, American values will shine through."

The subtle jab came one day after Trump reportedly referred to Haiti and African nations as "sh--hole countries" in a meeting with lawmakers. Trump later denied on Twitter that this was the language he used.

Ginni Rometty

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ginni Rometty will also co-chair the conference in the Swiss ski resort. The IBM chairman, president and CEO began her career with the tech giant almost four decades ago.

Rometty has held a series of leadership positions with the global technology company throughout her career.


Stephane Cardinale | Corbis | Getty Images

The American musician and tech entrepreneur Will.I.Am has become a frequent visitor to the Swiss Alps in recent years.

The Black Eyed Peas frontman, who was raised in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, started a foundation six years ago where children have the chance to study about robotics and computer software. In an interview with CNBC at the forum last year, he said interacting with others in Davos allows him to bring more ideas back home to continue supporting his foundation.

Emmerson Mnangagwa

JEKESAI NJIKIZANA | Stringer | Getty Images

Emmerson Mnangagwa will mark his first appearance at WEF in Davos this year, three months after he was sworn in as president of Zimbabwe.

The 75-year-old former security chief known as "The Crocodile" will look to reintegrate the South African nation into the international community.