TIME‘s Person of the Year for 2012 is President Barack Obama, four years after he first won the award as president-elect in 2008. Time Editor Richard Stengel listed the reasons for the selection in an essay: “For finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union, Barack Obama is TIME‘s 2012 Person of the Year.” The short list of possible candidates included Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager attacked for advocating girls’ education. Renowned photographer Nadav Kander shot the cover, along with a second photo representing the first formal portraits of the President since his re-election. Both are informed with a distinct gravitas while expressing the weight of the challenges that the President faces. See the images in the gallery below.